Four ways in which Coronavirus has changed social strategies
Coronavirus has changed so much of our everyday lives, so it’s no surprise to find out that society’s social media habits have changed too.
As an agency regularly posting on social media for our clients (and for our own brand), it’s a change we’ve had to pay close attention to and alter our strategy accordingly.
Here are four major adjustments that we’ve noticed have been key in implementing a good social strategy during these unprecedented times.
Open or closed?
When scientists and governments initially prepared for a global pandemic, the impact on the economy would have generally been an afterthought.
However, one of the virus’s biggest victims has been the state of the business world. Many companies have, unfortunately, had to close their doors either temporarily or permanently. This has been confusing to the public, not knowing which businesses are still open — and in what capacity.
To counteract this, smart companies have altered their social strategy to keep customers regularly updated with opening hours, services or new offers. This has been done with a change in bio, or a series of posts explaining how the company’s doors remain open for business.
As we’re all aware, social distancing has been key in keeping cases down and it has changed our perceptions about hygiene in general. It would, then, be irresponsible for a business to post a picture of an employee shaking hands with a customer, for example.
You’ll notice now that social imagery has changed to reflect the socially distant world we live in. Businesses don’t want to be inadvertently sending the wrong message to their clients and/or customers. So, if there are any people in the picture, they will more than likely be adhering to government guidelines.
Before coronavirus hit the world, the best time of the day to post on Instagram was generally around 10am. Now that so many of us are working from home, this has all changed.
Working habits have become a lot more autonomous, meaning there are no immediate consequences to looking through your social media feeds whenever your heart desires. This fact has made it a challenge for brands trying to work out the times their target audience is now online.
Analytics have proven key in this quest for answers, and what a lot of the data will show now (depending on the business) is that more people are trawling through Instagram later in the evening.
Focus on helping, less on selling
There’s a theory that the best way to sell is to provide as much value as you possibly can – for free – and that as a consequence of your generosity, a percentage of the people you assist will eventually become customers.
This hypothesis has never been more true and more businesses are beginning to put this into practice.
Campaigns designed to help the community, generous offers, or just public messages of goodwill have proved more successful than implementing a standard overt sales campaign.
In fact, some direct sales may seem a bit heartless given everything that is going on — and potential customers will pick up on this quickly and spend their hard-earned cash elsewhere.
Businesses may well see an initial drop in sales from providing help rather than products, but these are the places that are more likely to thrive once normality does, finally, resume.
Ultimately, the general public craves signs of optimism. So, a social campaign that presents a bright future will be a bigger draw for customers — perhaps not right away, but potentially later down the track.