Where Does My Social Strategy for 2020 Go Now?
You probably started out this year with a rock-solid social strategy. Everything looked just right, and you were ready to crunch some numbers this year — but then a pandemic swept across the planet, bringing many businesses and industries to a standstill.
We’re three months into the onset of COVID-19, with no vaccine available just yet. So before you lament the collapse of your awesome plans for social in 2020, you might want to hold off on the dramatics for a bit. There’s still a way to revive a social strategy, and it’s one that could benefit both you and your intended audience.
All you need is a little more sensitivity, empathy, and purpose to make sure that your social strategy for 2020 would still be relevant and engaging.
We’ve got a few pointers to help you add fire to your social strategy this year. After all, just because a pandemic is still ravaging most of the world right now doesn’t mean you can’t make your voice be heard.
Evaluating Your Strategy
Before running off into the sunset with this newfound inspiration, stop and think about your social strategy first. Evaluate your content and figure out the messaging that you’d need to change and those that need total scrapping.
A good way to make your content relevant in these times is to adopt a more socially-relevant approach to your messaging. Jen Hartmann, the Director of Strategic Public Relations for John Deere, suggests running your content through a COVID-19 alert test. Does it still jibe with the current situation or does it appear way out of touch?
What SMMs can do:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
1. Evaluate your content plan
2. Imagine each post sandwiched on social:
? Alert! COVID-19
——> Your content <——
? Alert! COVID-19
3. Scrap it if it feels tone-deaf
— Jen Hartmann (@jenalyson) March 11, 2020
This is where empathy comes in. You don’t want to come off as blatantly ignorant and unaware of what people are in most need of right now.
Should It Stay Or Should It Go?
After evaluating your entire 2020 social strategy, it’s time to weed out the bad ones from the good. But most of the time, as a social media manager, it can be hard to let go of some pieces of content that would really be of benefit to an existing campaign.
Maybe not this one, but it could work in the future.
Take that and store it in your memory bank. It’s that simple. And if you still find yourself a bit hard-up on the exact tone to use or the kind of messages you can have in your social strategy, social listening never hurts.
Take some time to figure out the feel of the room. What do most people talk about on every social media platform? What’s the atmosphere on Twitter? How do people cope on Facebook? Is Instagram still a good place to post images of new products and services?
Based on what you find, evaluate the ways you can elevate your message. Sure, your end goal is to generate sales, but you also have to level with the current social atmosphere. Now is the time to actively engage with your audience.
According to a study by Sprout Social, positive conversations on social media picked up tremendous steam. Engagements grew by 1,016%, with Shares increasing 928% and Likes growing 1,058%.
In essence, people are not sulking in the uncertainty and gloom brought about by COVID-19. Rather, they’re more interested in helping out, support, and uplift one another.
By demonstrating a caring and understanding nature for your brand, you are showing your audience and consumers that your support is all out and that you want to get through this unprecedented phenomenon together. Prioritizing positive connections and conversations for your social strategy helps build a loyal fanbase for your brand, one that would ultimately go beyond the COVID-19 era.
The Balance of Positive Messages and “Business As Usual”
So does that mean that I should screw messages about my products and services? Is hard-selling an insensitive thing to do.
That’s a resounding yes and no. Global Web Index conducted a study during the initial pangs of COVID-19 and found that “about 50% say they approve of brands running “normal” advertising campaigns which aren’t linked to coronavirus.”
The truth is that people are still looking for a sense of normalcy online. That not everything is going to shit. That we’re not going to be eaten up by COVID-19 before 2020 ends.
But just because a lot of people think “business as usual” posts are okay, you still have to use it sparingly. Allbirds, an eco-friendly footwear company, framed their messages in a way that hits the emotions and has noble intentions for social good. Apart from the intention of selling shoes, they also came up with an effective donation drive to help give health workers a new pair of shoes.
Amazing response to our donation. We've since distributed $500k of shoes and listened to our community by adding a “buy-one-give-one” option in the U.S. + option to donate a pair to a healthcare worker. Donate your pair here: https://t.co/0D1HGLQ3Mc pic.twitter.com/jHRq5wWq96
— Allbirds (@Allbirds) March 24, 2020
It’s “business as usual” but definitely used to help people out during the pandemic.
There Is Still Hope for Your 2020 Social Strategy
There’s no denying that despite all the good tactics brands and businesses use to keep afloat in the midst of COVID-19, sales are on a steady decline. Reopening the economy can help the business sector recuperate from their losses, but it’s not enough to salvage massive losses in the past three months (and counting).
Marketing teams need to find a way to reframe their strategies and to circumvent the situation to find more prospects, close more deals, and generate decent sales.
But the good news is that social media usage in the past months has been at an all-time high, according to Social Media Today. Consider this as an opportunity to restart your awareness campaigns and leave good impressions to your audience and future consumers.
As in Allbirds’ case, the pandemic is helping them to help others. It’s a good strategy to adopt, especially if you belong to the eco-friendly business niche.
But despite all the data being reported, it doesn’t always tell the full story. Your job as a social media manager is to amplify your brand’s role in this pandemic. Where do you currently stand? What impact would you like your brand to make in this current normal?
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