Why Social Media Marketing Is Important for Your Business in the Time of COVID-19 and Thereafter
The year 2020 is, no doubt, the time when marketers were forced to change their marketing strategies quickly. Between budget cuts, uncertainty, laying off employees, most businesses, both big and small scale, only the most agile businessmen have the greatest chance of survival.
These quick-witted businessmen all have one common belief: a business needs social media marketing and presence to stay afloat during and after the pandemic.
It doesn’t matter if you spearhead a small, local shop or a forerunner in a booming industry. There are various reasons why social media marketing is essential for your business. For one thing, social media platforms will help you connect with your prospective and existing customers in many ways you can ever imagine.
Indeed, as businesses struggle through this period of uncertainty, yours has to respond quickly and effectively to stay active in the new normal.
Since social media marketing is rapidly becoming an important facet of a successful business, you may want to know what makes this type of marketing strategy necessary for your business. If you’re interested to know more, read further.
The effects of social media marketing for business
Social media offers many good things aside from hitting your target audience, staying engaged with them, and responding to their inquiries instantly. It also has a massive, positive impact on your business in terms of revenue, brand recognition, and so much more.
Here are some positive ways of how social media affects your business:
1. Improves omnichannel customer service
The emergence of social media has given millions of customers a new way to engage with the brands they love. Meaning, it has become a powerful tool to engage customers through different platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more, to provide a better omnichannel messaging service.
Here are some ways to improve your customer service online:
- Listen and be kind to your customers.
- Address complaints head-on. A research from Conversocial concluded that the way customers are being treated online has a significant effect on their feelings toward a business. If ignored, 45% of customers would be angry, whereas 27.1% would completely stop doing business with the company.
- Improve your customer experience on every social media platform.
2. Reaches out a broader scope of audience
A data from Vendasta shows that 90% of marketers agree that social media marketing projects have boosted exposure for their businesses, whereas 75% say they’ve driven more traffic.
It only goes to show that through social media marketing, you can attract more audiences by updating them through your latest products and services, promotions, giveaways, and many more.
Here are some tips to expose your business to a bigger audience:
- Know your target audience, their behaviors, habits, patterns, and then choose to promote your business in social media channels wherein they are present.
- Use striking visuals that communicate your vision and mission.
- Initiate conversations online to boost engagement.
- Measure your activity by using social media tools. Gain and analyse insights to strengthen your social media efforts.
3. Boosts user engagement
If your business is engaged on social media channels, it means you are encouraging more attention, traffic, and engagement to your business. Unfortunately, staying active and improving your social media presence requires massive efforts. However, with a professional social media manager, you can achieve your social media goals more quickly and effectively.
Here are some tips to keep your users engaged:
- Increase reach and engagement by posting content aligned with your target market’s needs, wants, and interests.
- Establish personal relationships with your audience through striking visuals.
4. Drives overall business growth
When your business has a proactive and effective social media marketing approach, it will boost your sales revenue.
Here are ways to help you harness the power of social media marketing to drive more sales:
- Engage in social media listening to be in tune with your industry’s current happenings.
- Be involved in social selling (a mixture of social listening, sales practices, and social media lead generation).
5. Improves brand loyalty
Brand loyalty is a crucial business component to ensure business longevity. And what better way to foster brand loyalty than on social media? Through social media channels, you can create meaningful relationships with your customers, and in turn, they will repay you with loyalty and advocacy.
To foster brand loyalty through social media management, here are some tips you can follow:
- The market is saturated and competitive, and brand loyalty can be hard to come by. Make sure your customers have multiple access to your brand so you won’t lose them quickly.
- Create meaningful conversations. Be as human as possible.
- Share quality contents that inspire brand loyalty, such as infographics, relevant questions, etc.
Importance of social media marketing during the pandemic
Today’s CEOs are challenged with uncharted waters as they continue to have their businesses stay afloat amidst the negative impacts of the pandemic. But some approaches could help your business pivot in this time of uncertainty:
1. Introduce a new service
With most people staying indoors, businesses are expected to adjust their services to help customers engage with them in the comfort of their homes. This may mean making a purchase over the phone or online.
If you don’t have an online shopping or delivery service, maybe today’s the best time to add it. You can also use both organic and paid social media posts to promote your new services. For example, if you want to target an audience within a specific geographical area, paid advertising campaigns on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram would greatly help.
2. Be relevant
People have lost a lot during the pandemic—jobs, loved ones, leisure time, and so much more. As a business, it is not the time to invest in self-promoting projects. Instead, use this moment to help your customers.
While it’s essential to promote your products and services, you can boost your relevancy when you offer value to your customers first. Meaning, be visible and heard. Be a helping hand or a crying shoulder. And once the world settles in the new normal, they will surely reward you.
3. Boost your engagement
Since most people would rather stay indoors, it’s your chance to help and entertain your customers while they lounge at home. You can boost your engagement by creating relevant, helpful content to show your audience that they can still get ahold of your products in the comfort of their own homes.
Helpful content can vary from a DIY recipe, home workouts, DIY beauty hacks, and the like. Your content should be something that your audience will appreciate.
Customers will love it if you provide them with a fun, educational, and valuable experience. If they notice that what you put out resonates with their likes and interests, it will strengthen existing customer relationships and help forge new ones.
Importance of social media marketing post-pandemic
According to Alessandro Vespignani, a physics, computer science, and health sciences professor at Northeastern, “There is no unique construct to when a pandemic ends.”
Though the spread of the virus is slowly starting to fade in first-world countries, it’s unlikely that it will completely disappear, at least in the near future.
But one thing’s for sure: it is that you can plan and lay the groundwork today to ensure your business will maintain its momentum post-pandemic.
Here’s what you can do to future-proof your business today via social media marketing:
1. Boost your online visibility
Social media is a powerful tool only if used wisely and responsibly. There’s so much that you can do with it—increase brand awareness, dictate how your audience will feel about you, drive more leads, and much more.
However, how effective is your online activity and presence? Are you making use of the proper channels to meet your goals? Whether your goal is increasing sales, improving your follower count, or launching promotions, you should have a well-planned social media marketing strategy to meet your goal.
2. Be consistent
Trends are ever-changing, and it may be tempting to go with their flow. While it’s great to acknowledge and adapt to trends, it shouldn’t always be the case. Consistent messaging is always more important than what’s trending at the moment.
Have a clear set of guidelines on the message that you want to get across and the results that you want to gain from your social media marketing efforts. For instance, if your central theme for the month is self-love, ensure that the content for that time period resonates with your theme. Remember, consistency is key to building trust.
3. Run exclusive offers
As businesses begin to serve their customers again, a great way to attract potential buyers is by offering exclusive promotions or deals. You can promote your deals through your social media channels and even emails.
4. Focus on your customers
And last but not least, give love and support to those who stuck with you despite the pandemic and economic downturn.
Retaining loyal customers is as important as attracting new ones. In addition to boosting your online presence and creating relevant content, you may also want to give discounts to repeat customers.
The world is uncertain. Nobody knows if the pandemic situation will get better or worse in the next few months.
But one thing’s sure for agile and proactive businessmen like you. That is, if you focus on strengthening your social media marketing strategies, your business will outdo the uncertainties of today and tomorrow.
The pandemic has pushed us to “go digital” and given new power to social media. Having said that, as a proactive businessman or marketer, you should know the social media marketing strategies that you should implement to have a successful business in the time of COVID-19 and thereafter. With these guidelines and with the help of social media managers and strategists, you’re bound to defy the uncertainties of the pandemic—one post at a time.
Author Bio: Jordan Fuller is a golf mentor and a savvy blogger who runs Golf Influence, a website where golfers of all levels can learn expert golf advice and product recommendations.