By Sarah Robinson
After three full months of navigating the coronavirus in the United States, let’s check in on how it has impacted the marketing landscape, and how you can adjust moving forward.
In late February, we saw a shift on social media as many were wondering how their brand would innovate with the challenges of COVID-19 ahead. As social media shifted from its usual role of brand promotion and instead became a primary information resource related to COVID-19, the types of content brands were posting changed as well.
We saw COVID-19-related posts dominate, while evergreen content took a significant decrease in engagement, with many brands pausing their pre-scheduled campaigns altogether. According to an April 2020 report by SocialBakers, brands started mentioning COVID-19 on social media in February, but by the beginning of March, posts mentioning COVID-19 skyrocketed. While we know that many social media users report social media as a means for receiving news, brands and businesses turned to Facebook especially as a means of updating customers and followers during COVID-19.
Back to business as usual?
As if social media isn’t already evolving fast enough – with trends and news affecting social messaging by the minute – here are a few tips to consider before your brand jumps back online.
1) Evaluate the Analytics
Take the time to deep dive into your company’s social media analytics. What audiences have you reached during the last few months – any new audiences or followers you never anticipated reaching? Have you seen an increase or a decrease in engagements? How has your message evolved?
While the analytics may not tell the full story, they are an indicator of what may or may not be working. By checking your analytics regularly, you can spot trends and opportunities for improvement. Take advantage of the embedded analytics pages for platforms, which help break down various metrics over a period of time – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn all have this feature. And, did we mention that they’re free?
2) Review Your Paused Campaigns
Before publishing those evergreen posts that you saved as a draft, take the time to carefully review each. What was considered evergreen content in the past could be irrelevant today – if you’re sharing photos with employees or clientele, are they displaying proper safety protocol? Are posts promoting services that have been discontinued? Have business hours changed? With this “new normal” comes new evergreen content.
3) Trial and Error
Now more than ever, your timelines and feeds are being clogged with information – it’s a data overload out there. So, let me reinforce that it’s okay to test things right now. From graphics to videos to posts with or without photos – it’s going to take some retooling to find what works for your company and audiences. That’s OK. Don’t give up, even if you want to. People want to hear from your company now more than ever – just make sure it’s up-to-date with appropriate, relevant messaging.
NP Strategy Communications Specialist Sarah Robinson is an innovative storyteller with experience in social media strategy, issue advocacy and crisis communications. While attending the University of Southern Mississippi, she honed her craft by writing several specials that were published in the Hattiesburg Post. She also wrote for The Pursuit, a student-led public relations magazine. She was later awarded a PRAM Award of Excellence for her part in implementing a social media plan for a campus-wide anti-litter campaign. After graduating, Sarah moved to Charleston, SC where she worked with a political consulting and issue advocacy agency before joining the NP Strategy team.