The Covid-19 pandemic demands that brands revisit how they communicate, and that includes the strategy and skills that drive your use of social media.
Much has changed, from new best days and times to post content due to remote working and school habits, to a greater emphasis on content from brands (vs. messaging to/with them). Consumers have found more and more urgent needs for social media content, especially when in search for virus-related information, and brands have found greater utility in one-to-one communication in lieu, sometimes, of propagating content broadly.
How can you not just respond but anticipate what these changes might mean for your brand? Circus Street’s new online course in Social Media provides the five-point framework and specific actionable steps you can follow:
First, you should reevaluate your specific objectives, as your consumers’ needs have changed along with your business goals. They aren’t looking for the same content or interaction that they did before the pandemic, and this is particularly relevant to your influencer engagement strategy. Can your traditional recommenders provide your audiences the credibility and reliability they crave? Are your marketing communications schedules as matched to their needs as they once were?
Second, your litmus test should be relevance, since much of the social media landscape has shifted from “nice to have” to “necessary” interactions. It’s a good prompt to revisit your understanding and support among different internal stakeholder groups: What are the sales teams seeing as marketplace needs now? What about customer service? How have the broad programmatic threads of how your business is run adapted to the new normal, and should you consider reflecting those changes in how you talk to consumers?
With these two components in mind, the third element of your reevaluation should be to consider achievability: While we’re all craving closer and more meaningful relationships these days, it wouldn’t surprising if your strategic guidance might be to “restore confidence” or “establish greater trust,” or some such outcome, but it would be wrong. It’s time to refine and match your plans to more immediate and actionable outcomes. Change the world one interaction at a time.
Fourth, the presumptions about content timing and lifespan should be revisited. Content that was once believed to be “evergreen” may no longer have value for long; certainly, what was central to your messaging at the beginning of the year has changed or needs to change. The connection between frequency and engagement also aren’t necessarily valid, as per the research I noted at the start of this post. I think a good rule of thumb these days is that if content isn’t solidly based on the first three components of your strategy (also noted above), you should reevaluate not just your timing but whether or not you’re going to share it altogether.
Finally, though it might drive you nuts, you need to revisit your assumptions about measurement. Share of voice, velocity, and other metrics for engagement and value are measures of the process of communicating on social media, but do they correlate with your newly developed objectives and timing/frequency plans? The goal was never to simply keep your consumers busy on social but rather to give them useful information (that was useful for activities other than simply sharing it). Now is a good time to challenge those notions and risk experimenting with metrics that are more closely aligned with actual operational outcomes.
The opportunities are vast, as both your organisation and the communications platforms available to you are awaiting your post-pandemic thinking. Revisiting your social media strategy & skills is both a business process and personal development opportunity for them and for you, and the resources exist to guide you (and support you) every step of the way.
Our course on Social Media dives into this framework further, and will help your business and your teams to; adopt a whole new mindset, get to know the platforms your audiences use and strategise how to reach them.