One of the less visible but most significant impacts of the 2020 pandemic is how it has changed people’s attitudes and values. Temporary as it might be, the crisis has, to some degree, made people more caring and increased awareness of the value of others in society. For companies that make use of social media, these changes may mean adopting a different approach to their social media strategy in order to align with the public mood. Here, we’ll look at some tips to help you do this.
Put your people first
If you’ve analysed advertising and social media over the last few months, you’ll have seen that much of the good news has been about people who make a difference: the NHS heroes, Captain Tom, delivery drivers and warehouse staff. Many businesses are posting less about their products and services and more about the dedicated individuals who work for them, going above and beyond to bring customers the best service.
In these new, caring times, this approach helps customers identify with and connect with a brand. It highlights the human side of the business and this can be a great way to attract new customers and inspire loyalty.
Creating posts about the people who work for you, regardless of their role within the company, and telling their story as part of your brand story can be a highly successful social media strategy to use.
Judge the right mood
These are times of heightened emotions where the mood of your audience can swing from positive to negative very quickly. The pandemic might be receding but its impact on people hasn’t gone away. Many are facing redundancy and financial hardship, there is still considerable disruption to our normal lives and the potential for future spikes in infections is never far away.
When posting on social media in the foreseeable future, you should always try to judge whether it is the right time to put out your message. Read the news and take a look at what’s trending before you press publish, that way you’ll have your finger on the pulse and won’t post anything that could upset your audience and damage your brand.
Benefit stories over feature lists
To align with a public attitude that is more caring, your audience is more likely to engage with posts that are less about the features of your products and services and more about the benefits they give to customers. If you can epitomise this by telling the story of genuine customers and show how your company has improved their lives, even better. This form of social media post not only shows the caring side of your company; it also provides genuine social proof. What’s more, being the story about individuals, it is also likely to engage audiences on an emotional level.
Enabling your audience to engage with your brand on social media has never been more important. Social distancing means opportunities for engaging socially in the real world are still restricted and providing an outlet for their needs can be very helpful. At the same time, it gives your audience a chance to feel part of your brand community by participating in online discussions. This can make them feel valued and turn them into loyal customers.
As part of your social media strategy, try to do things that will inspire engagement. Indeed, go beyond trying to get likes, shares and comments and see if you can get the audience to generate their own content. If you’re a garden centre, for example, ask customers to reply with before and after photographs of their gardening projects.
Do your bit
Another great way to use social media is to show your audience that your business is doing its bit to help society in these difficult times. There are numerous ways companies have been doing this: some have been running community projects, like creating masks and donating to food banks, whilst others have been giving discounts to NHS workers, delivering products to those having to shield and providing special opening hours for the elderly.
On a completely different note, some companies have gone out of their way to provide much-needed relief from the monotony of lockdown by creating humorous social media videos and images or running online quizzes and competitions.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be about the wider community, your business could be going above and beyond to help its customers. Whatever it is you are doing, posting about it on social media gets the message out that you are a company that cares and, at this point in history, that can perfectly capture the public’s imagination.
Different times call for different measures and, as far as social media strategies are concerned, now is the ideal time to portray the human and caring side of your business. In this time of strife, audiences are more likely to engage with businesses that prioritise people over profit and this can create customer loyalties that will last long after the pandemic becomes a thing of the past.
For more information about our hosting services, visit our homepage.