Social media marketing became one of the most relied-on digital marketing strategies amid this pandemic. The way companies used social media to market their product/services, connect with customers, and increase their brand influence changed due to COVID-19. Marketers were able to learn and grow with the evolving needs of their customers and followers through trial and error.
What did COVID-19 teach us about social media marketing? What are some of the key lessons we can take with us into the future?
Here are 5 key social media marketing lessons to take away from COVID-19.
Marketing Virtual Events is not the Same as In-Person Events
With the cancelation of most in-person events, all large gatherings, and even small group functions, companies turned to digital platforms to host some of their most popular events of the year. Although many companies canceled events altogether, others chose to shift to virtual events in hopes of still capturing the atmosphere, connectedness, and overall mission of the in-person affair. Many social media marketers struggled with marketing these virtual events on social platforms because they promoted them as they would an in-person event.
Virtual events are entirely different from in-person events in the way they’re presented, hosted, and engaged with by attendees. They should be marketed strategically and with the benefits of the virtual event at the forefront of the messaging. The COVID-19 pandemic still presents us with restrictions when it comes to in-person events, so you’ll be tasked with marketing more virtual events on social media especially.
Aside from choosing the right platform to host your virtual event, ensure it performs optimally by:
- Ensuring it’s visually appealing and interactive with the use of backgrounds that promote the personality of the event and company.
- Choosing the right social platforms to consistently market these events on.
- Leveraging social media’s proven influence and ability in getting customers and followers to and through your virtual events.
- Employing a specific strategy for engagement and promotion that is tailored to virtual events.
Quality and Quantity Matter When it Comes to Content
We can’t ignore the massive increase in content consumption online due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place. Consumers began using social media for more than just keeping in touch with friends and updating family on how they’re doing. They started using social media for purchases, news coverage and engaging with their favorite brands.
As we continue to indulge digitally, your customers and followers will be looking for quality content on a more consistent basis. They’re getting more social media content than they ever have before. This trend will continue well into the future as we settle in to this new normal and appreciate the focus on health and safety more and more.
One of the best strategies for standing out in the crowded social media marketing space is to provide your customers and followers with content that’s relevant, personalized, and unique to their evolving needs. Posting quality content often will help with your engagement and aid in the overall growth of your company.
Choose Your Social Media Platforms Wisely
Stay-at-home orders and the closure of most retail spaces forced us all to social media and other digital platforms to get what we need. Companies wanted to accommodate the needs of their entire customer base, but many made the mistake of trying to build an engaged audience on too many social media platforms. This negatively impacted their ability to build a solid social media presence that converted followers and visitors to customers.
Companies like Coca-Cola and Ikea are great examples of how to successfully leverage your best-performing social media platforms. They were strategic in not just their messaging, but also in the social media platforms they chose to market on. You’ll need to choose your social media platforms wisely and leverage the connection you’ve built with your audience on them.
Do not think you have to try every single social media platform out there. Do some in-depth research of your audience and customer base, find out which platforms they’re engaging on the most, and choose those as the foundation for your future social media marketing strategy.
Social Media Ads are No Longer a Choice
There is still a large portion of companies that have yet to explore social media ads and how effective they can be for their individual business models. Companies that have employed social media ads found them positive for their social media marketing efforts. With the increase in content on popular social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, It’s getting harder for companies to get organic engagement on their posts.
If you’re serious about strengthening your social media marketing, ads are no longer a choice they’re a necessity. Your social media marketing strategy will be most effective with a hybrid strategy that includes an organic reach strategy like quality content, and a paid reach strategy like ads.
Ensure that ads are added to your social media marketing budget. Spend time studying how to effectively launch social media ad campaigns and what each stage entails. How well you’re able to convert on social media depends on how well you navigate and use ads to promote your brand and products/services.
Use All of the Features on Your Platforms, and Do it Well
Simply posting pictures on Instagram or sharing a status on Facebook is no longer effective as a complete social media marketing strategy. Companies were forced to explore all that each of their social media platforms had to offer. Most of them found that the better they were at navigating all the features on a platform, the better their influence on those platforms.
A combination of traditional posting, live streaming, stories, and newly added features is your best approach to a full social media marketing strategy. COVID-19 revealed how important it is to stay connected even if we can’t be in the same room. Using all the features available to you will help establish this connection.
You’ll want to take some time to get to know newly added features on your social media platforms and use them often. When platforms release new features, using them well will significantly increase your engagement. Also, keep using the features you’re familiar with but learn new tips and tricks as they arise to level up the way you use them.
What COVID-19 Taught Us About Social Media Marketing
COVID-19 significantly impacted the way companies navigated social media marketing. We learned that there’s a strategy to successfully marketing virtual events, that quality and quantity matter in content, to choose the most appropriate social media platforms, that ads are a must, and how important it is to use features well.
Digital engagement will continue to rise in the coming years, and social media will lead that charge as we navigate this next shift in the COVID-19 pandemic.