The Benefits of Staying Engaged on Social Media Through the Pandemic

Using social media in covid19

TL;DR:

It’s more important than ever to be distinct, in a sea of noise. Your business needs to be present (ie posting regularly) and unique in its messaging.

If you apply these strategies to any social platform, you’ll see significant growth and engagement across the board.

In all likelihood, if you haven’t already, you’re going to need some advice on how to implement the below (which is something we can help with).

Managing Social Media in the “New Normal”

Now more than ever before, it’s important to be present on social media, and the best way is through regular content that gives value to your audience. (If you want some advice on how to organise this, please do contact us).

What makes some brands much more desirable than their competitors, when they’re selling the exact same product?

What makes them special?

As usual, it boils down to one thing – marketing.

Marketing is the most important aspect of getting a business, product, or platform off the ground.

But what do we mean by the term Marketing?

Simply put: marketing is the process of attracting an audience that sees your content, and because of what they see, they decide to contact you.

It’s essentially a passive form of “discovered” outreach: your business creates content, and, at some point, people will contact you (usually via commenting, or messaging you on their favourite social media platform).

Advertising, on the other hand, is active: here, your content is usually interrupting what someone was already doing, to tell them about something completely off-topic to their thoughts, whilst they were scrolling the newsfeed, on a Messenger app, listening to some music, watching a video, and so on.

Because of that interruption, the conversion rate will be lower – but, it’s still a useful way to get the message out there to a large audience (provided your advert has some key “attractions” that override the annoyance of the interruption!).

Billboards, magazine ads, tv commercials and direct mail were once the only and preferred mediums to increase brand awareness, but now social media advertising and social media content marketing are the main communication channels for businesses to connect with their audience.

Prior to COVID-19, social media marketing was always a beneficial business tool. But now, it’s absolutely crucial, because everyone is online so much more than before.

According to research, over 90% of businesses actively use social mediaAs we navigate this new world, almost all businesses have been forced online. If you weren’t already leveraging the use of social media, now’s the time to start.

Why You Can No Longer Ignore This

So – how do you get going? First and foremost, you want to build brand awareness. The more your audience sees your products and services, the more likely they are to buy them.

Now that consumers go out less, and scroll on their phones more, it’s important to make sure you’re visible when they do.

To increase visibility and presence, you have to be consistent. Not only should you post on your social platforms every day, but you should also use every feature on the platform – post stories, engage with customers in the comments, and interact on customer pages that could direct traffic to your page.

If you can stay consistent, you won’t just grow on your social pages, you’ll create a bond with customers that improves their trust, satisfaction, and loyalty.

If that’s not enough to persuade you that social media market

ing is valuable – here’s another: it’s free to get started.

We’ll be the first to point out, though: it’s not free in terms of your time – which is obviously where we can help.

You just about have enough time to run your business, and we understand that creating a 60 or 90 day content creation, syndication & marketing plan is not a trivial task, which is where we can obviously help.

Whether you’re a small business with little to no marketing budget, or a large corporation with thousands to spend, social media platforms are about the only place where your all potential AND actual customers can connect with one another and your business.

Simply build a space for potential customers to interact with your brand, share your product, or get more information. Because of this “many to many” connectivity, it’s much more valuable than relying on paid advertising alone, which most people ignore.

As previously mentioned, advertising does have its place, but only works effectively when a business combines it with having a solid online presence and follow-up strategies in place.

Overall, social media is a highly-beneficial tool everyone should use, especially in the post-COVID digital world.

How to Use Social Media in the Pandemic Era

Like any tool, there are right and wrong ways to use social media. Unless you’re properly engaging, posting, and using the necessary strategies to grow your audience, you won’t make much progress.

However, once you know the right strategies and techniques to apply, you’ll see improvements in your daily reach very quickly.

 

Consistency

As we mentioned, consistency is king. It builds your ranking in the algorithm, brings more brand awareness to your potential customers and reinforces credibility. The more potential customers see and interact with your brand, the more loyalty and trust they’ll feel toward it.

While posting often can be time-consuming, there are time-saving alternatives. Start by creating a social media calendar, and planning all your posts in advance. Schedule a day to prepare content for as many days, weeks, or months in advance as you need to.

If you have little time, but you do have the budget, hiring a marketing agency to do the actual work, or to provide guidance, can obviously be immensely helpful.

Be clear about your mission, vision, and values

Whether you outsource, or handle your content creation and social media syndication yourself, be aware that the average person has the attention span of a goldfish online (so you’re obviously not such a sea creature if you’ve got this far! 🙂 ), and unless they can find what they need immediately, they’ll go to the next best curated space that offers what they want.

Communicate vision, mission & values clearly
Communicate vision, mission & values clearly

Brand consistency across each of your platforms helps you stand out from competitors, and appear the same way everywhere your brand goes. It should reflect your business’ mission, vision and values.

Communicating “behind the scenes” details about your business to your audience is another great way to build the know, like & trust factor with your audience.

While posting every day, twice a week, or even once a week can be time-consuming, it’s not a waste of time if you do it right.

Applications such as Planoly and Preview enable you to schedule posts. This allows you to post without having to set aside time each day to do it.

The downside: social media sites like Instagram prefer you to post manually. They’ll restrict your post from reaching all of your audience if you use a scheduling app. But it’s still better than not posting at all.

Meet Your Audience Wherever They Are

While social media is a great tool, it can also be a huge waste of time, if you put your message in front of the wrong people. To make sure you’re reaching the right people, experiment with messaging. Don’t just post once and then give up because nobody responds!

Be sure to research ahead of time, to see where your target audience spends most of their time. If you need helping knowing where to get started, this article might help you narrow down which social media platforms you should use for your business.

Conversation is Two-Way

You can take it a step further than posting – by engaging with your audience. No one wants to talk to a brick wall, so when you respond to comments, questions, and posts, you deepen ties with your audience. The more interactive you are, the greater the likelihood people will buy or refer you to someone else.

Another great strategy is to search for people who meet your target audience, and engage with their social media profile first, to draw them to your page. Have you noticed how you begin to see posts from someone you add as a friend on Facebook, almost as soon as you add them?

Can you outsource all of this? Yes: if you have the budget, you should.

Especially consider hiring an agency to manage your social media marketing: the creation of content, curation of other relevant content that will prove valuable to your audience, and syndication of that content across all social media platforms.

There’s a significantly higher cost with outsourcing your social media commenting, replies and personal messaging, because whoever you employ has to use significant on-going time to communicate both with you and your audience, as well as getting to know your business to be “on-brand”.

We generally advise small businesses to outsource the social media marketing, and invest 15-30 minutes per day manually replying to comments and messages as they come through.

By the way – some businesses are under the impression that only manually replying is beneficial, but the use of automated messenger bots for basic pre-customer and customer queries can make a huge positive difference to both your business, and your clientele.

For you, it means you can use technology to answer the often-asked basic questions that would normally take up a lot of your time, and for them, it means they can often get what they need very quickly.

One really useful thing about automated messaging, is that if the person wants to talk to you (or the team who you’ve outsourced this to), many of the messaging tools will allow a person to take over seamlessly from the automation, giving you the best of both worlds.

Make Your Social Platforms Reflect Your Values

Lastly, make sure your profile reflects your business goals and values.

As you know, branding is important to every business, and your profiles are key standard-bearers for your brand. Post photos, messages, and brand artwork that reflect the message you want to convey to your audience. Create a clear outline of how you want to come across to the people you want to attract before you start posting.

If you need any help with the above, contact us below, and we’ll give you our secret strategy for successful social media content posting, along with 30 days of done-for-you social media posts.

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