Businesses and consumers are navigating uncharted water during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The entire nation has shifted its operations indoors under directives to stay home and stay safe. Meanwhile, a FEMA study found that 40% of small businesses won’t reopen in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Over a three-year period, 75% of businesses without a comprehensive plan will fail.
These are no doubt concerning statistics. But look on the bright side: social media marketing gives you the tools you need to keep your business running during this pandemic and beyond. You can avoid becoming a statistic with a little tact and plan.
5 Strategies to Optimize Your Social Media Marketing During the Pandemic
With the entire world forced indoors and online, the ecommerce sector is booming.
- Overall ecommerce rose by 25%
- Grocery spending accounts for 8% of all ecommerce sales
- Home fitness gear sales skyrocketed by 55%
- Buy-online-pickup-in-store surged by 62%
Despite the downturn from the DJIA and overall consumer economy, ecommerce offers a beacon of light for both consumers and businesses. Social media marketing provides an arsenal of resources to build your ecommerce audience and sales.
1. Enable Your Social Media Shopping Features
Younger generations are already expert online shoppers. However, expect to see a jump in boomer ecommerce sales as well: 85% of people over 60 say they’ll be avoiding crowds as the pandemic worsens.
Facebook and Instagram make it easy for online shoppers to browse your products and complete purchases through their apps without visiting your website. If you haven’t, now’s the time to set up your social media product catalogues – IF they’re the right fit for your brand. Keep in mind you can also use social media to sell gift cards.
Facebook has put together a series of COVID-19 resources for businesses in different industries – like fitness, salons, and retail – to optimize their social media marketing strategies.
2. Set Up Social Listening to See What People are Saying
People are constantly searching for answers about coronavirus – it’s the biggest Google Trend in history. You can set up social listening tools to ensure your brand leaves a positive impact on lives during this time.
Tools like Sprout Social, Social Bakers, and Hootsuite let you set up alerts for terms like “COVID-19,” “coronavirus,” or terms related to your brand. From there, you can find trends and look for ways to be a part of the conversation.
Although Facebook’s native social listening tools aren’t super comprehensive due to API limitations, Reddit, Nextdoor, and Twitter provide ample features for tracking hashtags and terms. Reddit users are, for instance, prompted to follow the coronavirus subreddit as soon as they open the homepage.
You can sort the subreddit by categories and use the search feature to track trends before they show up on other social media platforms.
3. Expect Delays in Content Moderation
Facebook and YouTube have already announced that contractors will not be working from home. This means there’ll be a shortage of workers and real people won’t be able to review your content as quickly as they normally could.
Social media platforms like Facebook have strict guidelines for what they consider acceptable sponsored posts. Each new promotion needs a review from a real person before it can be published. So, if you create a new post, it could take days before it makes it into the newsfeeds of your audience.
Double-check the appropriateness of your messaging to avoid moderation:
- Mentions of “going viral”
- Calling a product or idea “contagious”
- Referencing imagery to traveling or exploring the world
- Pointing to concepts like “getting out”
- Anything suggesting crowds
These could lead to your post getting flagged. You may also want to focus on promoting some of your existing content with minor tweaks instead of creating something entirely new.
4. Stay as Dynamic as Your Audience
By now, your Facebook newsfeed is probably full of surveys about past jobs, high school, and Tiger King. In Italy, time spent on Facebook has gone up by 70% because of the lockdown.
Now’s a smart time to take advantage of live features on social media platforms. Consider how your brand fits into the current environment:
- A spa could offer DIY facial tips and lessons
- A gym could offer home fitness classes
- A law firm could run through an FAQ for tenants facing eviction (bonus points for targeting specific jurisdictions)
- Restaurants could offer cooking classes for their top dishes
5. Be Helpful and Not Opportunist
Although countless brands have gone out of their way to help during the pandemic, others have turned to opportunism, promoting vacation deals or trendy masks. Now certainly isn’t the time to capitalize on a captive audience.
- Avoid tone-deaf copy and ads: Always address potential anxieties and mention the coronavirus directly.
- Be available and helpful: Let customers know what you’re doing to address the crisis and give them a way to reach out with questions or concerns.
- Delight during distress: Remember that 10% of the U.S. population already filed for unemployment. Gifts, free shipping, and flash deals can help ease people’s worries.
Boost Your Social Media Marketing Strategy During Coronavirus
Navigating the social media marketing landscape can be frustrating if you’re not a seasoned expert. Targeted advertisements, channel selection, and audience building are particularly overwhelming. E29 Marketing can take the headache out of your social media marketing during COVID-19 to help you drive growth.
Need a helping hand with your sponsored ads or social media stores? E29’s social media services have you covered from start to finish!