It is no secret that COVID-19 is the big story of 2020. It is affecting all industries in every part of the world, and most of them negatively.
Social media marketing is no different, and marketers need to be quick to keep up with the changes and develop the most effective strategies.
Millions are left with extra time at home, with a completely new lifestyle. For many, working out how to make website for free could be a productive use of time.
Less Posting but More Engagement
While the posting frequency on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter showed a considerable decrease during March, there has been a rise in engagement rates.
This is a fall from an average of four to three posts per week. It suggests that each post garners more engagement and higher per-post performance.
It also suggests a higher level of quality in each post, as more consideration is given to creating the most relevant and appropriate content in a time of crisis. Though it is not always the best strategy, sometimes quality really is better than quantity.
A Transition to More Flexible Channels
With the unavoidable recession caused by the pandemic restrictions, marketers are likely to see a cut in budgets.
This means that making a move to more affordable and flexible marketing channels. It is likely to lead to increased use of social media, digital display advertising, and digital display advertising.
In addition, there may be an increase in the use of programmatic advertising, a form of packaged digital campaigns. In the short-term future, a rise in online exposure is anticipated, due to the widespread stay-at-home measures.
A Rise in Live Streaming
With quarantine or lockdown measures in force all over the world, many are turning to live streaming for entertainment. Over the weekend of 14-15 March, Twitch saw a rise in viewership by 10 percent and YouTube Gaming by 15 percent.
These figures have most probably increased since. Other areas particularly popular for live streaming are fitness or cooking tutorials. Creators that put their efforts into live streaming can build brand exposure, take advantage of the advertising and sponsorship potential, and possibly even new revenue streams on the platform.
Social media use has recently increased, but this has been much greater for certain platforms.
TikTok saw US downloads increase by 27 percent from February to March, and global downloads rise by 12 percent in just one week. These short-form videos are an influential new trend that can easily turn viral.
A higher number of people looking for constructive or enjoyable ways of occupying their time is leading a shift to content that is solutions-based.
This could include tutorials, instructional or educational videos, personal guidance or self-help. Influencers are becoming more involved in community building and interactive content.
The last month has seen celebrities like Amy Adams and Reese Witherspoon reading stories to children. It has also seen influencers like Katie Snooks, creating quizzes and interactive content with Instagram stories.
This is expected to be a new way for brands to connect with consumers and improve their lifestyles in a world that is dependent on connectivity.
A Drive for Brand Purpose
In social media marketing, there is always an opportunity for influencers to promote brands with a purpose. This can help to spread a certain message, while brands and influencers will also be associated with the positive cause.
Audiences are more likely to follow the advice of someone they already trust, so the impact will be more significant than when the advice comes from a faceless brand.
This trend can be seen in celebrities like Serena Williams and Kate Winslet helping the World Health Organisation in the #safehands challenge.
Another example is the #stayhomesavelives campaign that has seen a long list of sports personalities, actors, and musicians create videos to share the message.
In many cases, it has been made clear that advertising revenues will go towards health care funding. Even so, brands are beginning to play a larger role in this new type of promotion.
We all hope that the fight against COVID-19 will be won, and the world can return to normal. But until this is possible, everyone must adapt to challenging conditions, follow the changes, and stay optimistic.