During the volatile market throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing remained constant in our lives: social media. While social platforms have been popular since the inception of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in the early 2000s and 2010s, these grew to be a powerful tool during the pandemic as many were stuck at home, browsing their phones instead of gathering outside. The rise in social media engagement during this period was also largely helped by a new feature that would only catapult the impact of content creators and influencers—TikTok.
Even as the world slowly shifts out of the pandemic and returns to a slight sense of normalcy, social media remains an influential tool for brands to align their customers with their message. To understand the impact that social can have on a brand, companies will need to consider how this landscape has changed and implement strategies for the future.
IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY, INTEGRATE SOCIAL MEDIA TO YOUR BRAND
Social media has truly accelerated and transformed how brands are marketing their services and products to clients. In a survey of over 1,000 consumers by The Harris Poll, on behalf of Sprout Social, 55% of customers said they learn about new brand via their social media. Additionally, 68% of consumers agreed that social media enables them to interact with brands and companies.
Having a proper social media strategy, regularly updating your content, and engaging with customers are all crucial investments to your overall brand. While social media was primarily comprised to be a new source of entertainment, it’s now shifted to being a place of discovery for your consumers. People now look to their phones and tablets for almost everything, including where they’ll purchase a new pair of shoes, which latest book they will read, or what new app they should download. They’re also looking to these brands to engage with them, by partnering with creators and creating a dialogue to explain why their consumers need a specific product or service.
Long gone are the days when brands could rely on other channels like radio and television. Social media is the new way in, and if you haven’t already created a social media strategy for your brand, then it’s time to do so.
UNDERSTAND WHAT CHANNELS ARE SMART FOR YOUR BRAND
When building a social media strategy, always be aware of existing and new channels that can optimize your brand’s content and engagement. Social media trends come and go quickly, therefore thinking in the short- and long-term when organizing your content is key. For example, instead of just posting one product or service photo on your Instagram page grid, try incorporating a TikTok or Instagram Reel to add to that promotion, as these channels are two current, popular metrics for engagement. This will give your brand and product or service more visibility, and in turn, will connect you with new and existing customers.
Now may also be a good time to talk about the fun in creating this content, whether through an internal team, an agency, or by partnering with an influencer or content creator. While strategy and brand messaging are key to getting across to potential customers, consumers value seeing brands have fun with their own products and services and being creative in how they’re telling their story. Remember: Utilizing these channels gives you the opportunity to tell a story through your own creative means and words, to ultimately connect with consumers that will value your brand. This is the time to be original and innovative with your messaging!
WORK WITH INFLUENCERS AND CONTENT CREATORS
If your budget allows for it, look into working with the right influencers and content creators who can ignite your brand. Influencer marketing is gaining more traction and attention among brands, who are seeing a great potential in connecting with powerful creators who have a substantial audience. When executed correctly, this partnership can create significant return on investments (ROI) for brands. According to a study by MediaKix, a leading influencer marketing agency, 89% of brands said their ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to, or even better than other marketing channels, with Instagram ranking #1 as the most important and impactful platform.
Influencers and content creators are great ways to build brand awareness and engagement with customers that are right for your products or services. When you decide to work with the right influencer for your brand, focus on building a genuine and trusting relationship with them. This will allow your brand to connect better with their followers and audience, and in turn, can bring in customers willing to pay for your products and services.
Implementing a social media strategy takes a lot of time, research, development, and creativity to be vital. It requires companies to look deep within their brands for core messaging and consumer engagement. Yet, while the process may be extensive, it is definitely rewarding to those who prioritize it. Ensure that you’re working with the right strategy, channels, and connections, and watch your brand grow from there.