For most of us, 2020 has not exactly gone as planned. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to change their routines and work life may be very different than it used to be. If you are anything like me, your new coworkers will not stop crying and chewing the television remote. By coworkers I am talking about the children and dogs. If your work life is anything like mine, that means you also rely heavily on your phone and laptop.
Social distancing has caused an increase in the need for social networking. According to Hootsuite, there has been a 76% increase in screen time since the pandemic began. Social media marketers need to adapt to the new digital climate. Individuals are using social networks to maintain human interaction while businesses are having to adapt their practices in order to stay relevant and functional. Facebook and WhatsApp recently reported that usage has more than doubled since the pandemic began. The use of 1:1 interaction such as private messages and video chats have also increased during this time. These interactions are replacing face to face social activities that can no longer take place.
So, the real question is, what can businesses do to encourage sales during a global health crisis? This time is crucial for brand managers. It is very important to stay relevant while everyone continues to social distance. In order for brands to succeed they must listen to the needs of their clients. As consumers cannot go into their locations to buy, they must focus on the digital marketplace. Many social media platforms have developed new tools for businesses in order to aid at this time. For example, users on Instagram are now able to make sales directly from their page. This allows for businesses to make better use of the site. Social promotions and campaigns should be relevant and clear. Many businesses have had to put upcoming promotions on hold because they do not make sense in the current climate. Posts are becoming more frequent as brands are realigning their goals and adjusting to the new normal.
Engagement rates on social networks have gone been up and down since the start of the pandemic. According to Rival IQ, social networks are starting to see some of the lowest engagement numbers to date. In order to increase engagement, it is suggested to focus on quality of posts rather than quantity. Additionally, make posts that are of benefit to your target market. In other words, do not make a post just to get random content out there, it will not be of benefit. The best way to increase engagement is to make posts that followers can relate to.
In conclusion, operating during a global health pandemic is no simple task, but it has never been easier due to the digital world we live in. As screen time has increased, so has the need for interaction with others. In order to remain relevant marketers must be selective about what they are posting in order to increase engagement. Have you noticed a shift in how you use social networks since the COVID-19 pandemic began?
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