Coronavirus has changed just about everything, but you still need to connect to your customers, prospects, partners, and team members. And now more than ever, social media may be the best way to do so.
But you cannot just continue with your regular social media strategy, content, and cadence. What works is different. What people want is different.
You must consider these 11 changes to your social media to continue – possibly even accelerate – your social media success during the pandemic.
The strategy team here at Convince & Convert has been working closely with our world-class clients to develop these approaches. We shared this advice on the 11 changes to your social media strategy during Coronavirus on a live webinar.
Access the video – including our answers to more than SEVENTY audience questions – below. Feel free to distribute widely. We want to help as many people as possible.
On that point, we have developed four new consulting packages. They are faster than how we usually work, and more affordable. If you are interested in a no-obligation call with one of our strategists, please fill out the form below.
The packages are:
- Social Media Strategy and Tactics Quick Wins
- Content Marketing Quick Wins
- Digital Marketing Quick Wins (website + email + content + social)
- Virtual events/webinars production and training (we do dozens of webinars each year for large companies)
Also, if you are in higher education, you might be better served by our webinar on marketing and communications shifts among college and universities.
11 Social Media Changes to Make in a Coronavirus World
1. Change Your Bios
If your operations have been impacted in a meaningful way, your social media bios should reflect that reality. For example, even though all Best Buy locations in the United States are now pickup only, their Twitter bio doesn’t reference that information:
Also, if you have key updates for your audiences, a good place to keep them front and center are pinned posts on Twitter and Facebook, and Highlights on Instagram.
2. Listen Harder
In times like these, everywhere you exist in digital is a potential customer service channel. You simply must expand your efforts to find, engage, and answer customers everywhere online. In fact, in our webinar, more than half of the 500 attendees said that customer communication via social media had increased since the Coronavirus outbreak.
3. Only Post with a Purpose
This is not the time for frivolous posts that are sent because they are “due” per the social media editorial calendar. That doesn’t mean you can’t be lighthearted, or even funny. It does mean, however, that you must carefully consider WHY you are posting in social media.
For whom is this post intended?
How does it entertain, inform, educate, or benefit that audience?
What specific behavior change or thinking change are we trying to effectuate with this post?
I love what Cardinal Spirits is doing in this regard. Located in Bloomington, Indiana where I live, it’s a small distillery run by some very smart friends.
Each day, they post on their Instagram exactly what they need in carryout sales to support their new mission, which is to make as much hand sanitizer as possible.
And then, when they reach that goal for the day (they’ve made it almost every day) they immediately add a new post that says “We’ve reached out goal for today. Please go support a different local business.” Spectacular.
4. Make it About People, not Logos
This was true before coronavirus, but it’s especially true right now:
We care about and trust people more than we care about and trust companies or organizations.
Every business and every organization is comprised of exceptional PEOPLE and now is the time to showcase that. Use humans in as much of your social media as you possibly can right now. It’s the one problem I have with the Cardinal Spirits post above: I’d rather it show their team (although they do so in their IG Stories).
And even better, spotlight your customers!
This effort from the Getty Museum is brilliant. They asked their fans to find three household items and use them to recreate famous artworks. They received thousands of submissions, many of them AWESOME!
5. Expand Influencer Marketing
On a related note, influencers and influencer marketing can be more effective than ever before. In times of uncertainty we rely upon people we trust and believe in, which is why a recent study showed a 75% uptick in clicks on Instagram posts that included #ad in the first two weeks of March.
If you have an influencer marketing program already, don’t be afraid to activate it right now. If you don’t have a program, this is a great time to set one up. (we actually do this for our clients)
6. Make Sure Your Visuals are in Context
Social distancing has changed our perceptions (and reality) about a great many things. It’s easy to rely upon your repository of brand imagery for social media, but in doing so you may unwittingly be sending a message that’s not wholly appropriate.
I love the differences in how Schwinn Bicycles spotlights their products. These posts are just a week or so apart, but you can see how they’ve adapted the visuals for a coronavirus world.
7. Try New Formats and Publishing Times
You know how you’ve experimented and optimized over and over to figure out what social media content formats and publishing windows work best for you? Well…..you can unfortunately cast that aside.
While social media usage in society overall is way up during the pandemic, people’s life routines are massively altered. No commutes. No treadmill. Having to oversee your kids’ Zoom homework during the day. It’s all a tangled ball of yarn.
Consequently, we’re already seeing big shifts in WHAT works, and WHEN it works.
Amongst our group of large clients (not a statistically valid sample, but directional), we’re seeing a huge increase in engagement rate for video posts, but an even larger increase for posts that include no photo, video, or link of any kind.
Further, for our financial services clients – as just one example – the “best” time to post before coronavirus became the world’s most unwelcome guest was 10am. Now? 10pm. In fact, we’re seeing a pretty strong pattern toward mid to late evening posts being disproportionately successful during pandemic, as people catch up on social media after dinner and maybe after the cherubs go to bed.
Again, this is not data you should use to modify your own program. But you absolutely must dig deep right now to figure out how your own social media success equation has changed.
8. Recalculate Your Paid Social Media Assumptions
The story is much the same with paid social media advertising.
Data from SocialBakers shows that cost per click and CPM for social ads is falling, as more and more advertisers stop their campaigns.
At the same time, overall click-through-rates for social ads are falling too, meaning that less expensive ads (yay) may not be working as well (boo).
And simultaneously, we are seeing clients in particular industries have incredible success with paid social media ads, more so than in those good ole pre-pandemic days.
In summary, just like with your organic social media, whatever math you’ve been using to figure out your ad spend and likely results is most likely borderline irrelevant right now. You’ve got to retest all of your data and projections accordingly.
9. Elongate Your Sales Funnel
Maybe people don’t want to (or cannot) buy from you right now. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want inspiration and education.
Try to become the Pinterest of your industry. How can you spotlight previous customers and how they use your products and services? How can you help your customers and prospects think about what and how they are going to do with you when they are allowed to do so?
For travel organizations, for example, this is a perfect opportunity to let people dream and stay motivated for the future.
But for all categories, helping customers create “wish lists” during quarantine can be a terrific social media content approach. Our client, David Weekley Homes, is doing this with their series of home trends, by region. This one is about kitchen trends, etc. in new homes in Austin.
10. Repurpose Your Winners
You already have winning social media content. Maybe it was from last month. Or last year. Maybe it’s a big piece of content like a report or video series.
One of the best ways to succeed with social right now is to deconstruct, repackage, and republish those winners (assuming the content is still valid, and contextually appropriate).
We have a whole guide on this you may want to download (no cost). It’s called:
11. Focus on Helping, not Selling
Several clients have asked us if they should “stop selling” right now. And while our answer varies a bit by industry, in general we’d tell you this:
Helping Beats Selling
I wrote a best-selling book about this principle. Youtility says 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 munificence, a percentage of the people you assist will become customers eventually. It’s never been more true.
Overt sales campaigns may be tough sledding right now. But if you can help your prospects, they’ll remember and reward you.
And if that’s the basis of your social media – to help – then if you sell a little along the way, you’re in great shape.
As my friend Rory Vaden from BrandBuilders Group says: “there’s no need to be nervous if your heart is on service.”
In some ways, it may be harder than ever to be responsible for social media in your company or organization. But it may also never be a more vital job. You can continue to communicate and inspire and education and assist your audiences. You just need to make some changes to do so. We wish you great success in that journey and hope it’s truly a short-term scenario.
Meanwhile, do watch the webinar replay. The 70+ questions we answered from the live audience is worth your time.
Also a reminder that we are helping people like you and organizations like yours put these new social media and digital marketing best practices into place. If we can help you, please do fill out the form below for a no-obligation strategy call.