MARKETING TIPS: BUILD TRACTION ON SOCIAL MEDIA DURING COVID-19
Written by Nathan Bees
Last updated: 22/05/2020
At Yachting Pages Media Group we are passionate about marketing – we love to help businesses flourish and fulfil their potential. It’s what we do.
We understand the predicament businesses currently find themselves in. The world is in the midst of a global pandemic and economies are grinding to a halt. It’s a difficult time and careful decisions are being made by business owners to ensure they can begin operations again as quickly as possible.
In these uncertain times one thing remains sure, however: Marketing is key – even in a crisis. With this in mind, we’ve decided to share some key marketing tips and advice in a new series of articles, specifically designed to help you help your business during these challenging times.
In the fourth article of the series, we discuss the advantages of social media and how it can help your business during COVID-19.
Embrace social media for your business
Whether you like it or not, social media is a vital part of modern marketing. It gives customers an insight into your brand and what you stand for. If you aren’t on social media or your social game is weak, you’re fighting a losing battle with customers without even realising.
The prospect of having a social media presence across numerous channels and needing to update them regularly may seem daunting, but it’s all about perspective. It’s another form of communication, yet another way you can appeal, interact and engage with potential customers – and who doesn’t want that?
So if you haven’t got social media accounts for your business, get them set up as soon as you can because you’re lagging behind everybody else (get signed up to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn as a minimum). If you have already got them, as is now standard across all industries, take our advice on what you need to be doing during the coronavirus crisis.
How should businesses use social media during COVID-19?
Don’t fear social media use during the pandemic. It doesn’t need to be something you overthink. Of course, what you post largely depends what your business offers. For a start you can still maintain the posts you would ordinarily publish about your business, whether it’s a new product or a promotion for example, but the key is to do this sparingly. There may still be people interested in buying, so you want to make it clear you’re still open for business, but at the same time you don’t want to throw out a barrage of sales-y posts.
What you should consider, to supplement your existing output, is what we refer to as sociable content.
What is sociable content?
What most social media users are looking for right now is escapism. They don’t want an amalgamation of coronavirus posts and businesses going overboard advertising their products. They crave light-hearted, easy-to-read content articles – distractions from what’s going on in the outside world.
We’ve already covered that personable content is the way forward for businesses, and that’s exactly the sort of thing you need to be utilising on social media right now [on all platforms with the exception of Instagram, which of course doesn’t allow you to post links until you have 10,000 followers]. If you have content about human interest topics such as the ‘best Netflix shows’ or something similar, it fits the bill for what social media users want on their timelines right now. It doesn’t guarantee they will click on to your article, but it increases the chances considerably.
This is a perfect example of sociable social media content: A post that centres on something irrelevant designed to entertain readers.
There are other forms of sociable content that has the same purpose but a different end result. Not every social media post has to focus on the idea that it is only successful if it results in a user ending up on your website. At a time like this, not everything is about instant conversions; playing the long game is just as important.
If your followers recognise that your social media output is more than just your products and services, they will see your brand as one that likes to give as much as it takes. Longer term, these are the businesses users naturally gravitate towards, because they perceive them to be more friendly and personable. It’s a good position for any business to be in – so it’s vital to give users what they want.
Publishing posts that offer nothing but light-hearted fun are another means of appealing to social media users. It could be something as simple as a post with an image, a poll or even a video. The key difference with these posts is that you aren’t providing a link for them to click on; the purpose is purely to drive post engagement in the form of likes and comments. If you can get this type of approval from users, you’re planting a seed in their minds that your business cares about its followers.
Maintain a consistent presence across all platforms
With the above post inspiration, it’s important to remember a couple of basic social media facts. Every social media platform wants as many users to be online as it can possibly get – and they want to keep them active for as long as they can. Therefore, any account that delivers engaging content that helps to keep users on the platform for longer gets preferential treatment with the algorithms.
This means it’s vital to be consistent on every platform, posting regularly (usually daily) and ensuring you respond to comments and direct messages as quickly as you can. The more you do this, the more the algorithm can see that you are engaging and gratifying your followers. The result is better rankings and reach for your posts, which in turn can increase the number of engagements and conversions. You’ve got to play the game in order to get the rewards.
It’s also worth remembering that posting exactly the same thing at the same time across each of your social media accounts is not good practice. If you decide an article warrants being shared across all channels, caption the posts differently and publish them at different times on different days. Think about how a user who follows you on every platform would feel if they see the same post over and over again as they scroll through their respective timelines. They’d be bored stiff.