Covid-19 has changed the social media playbook, but brands who’ve been quick to adjust are seeing social conversion rates continuing to climb.
In an analysis of data pulled from more than 120 retail websites, the digital experience solutions company Episerver found that social conversion rates have increased steadily during Covid-19 shutdowns, from 1% in April 2019 to 1.2% in April 2020.
All generations, especially more technically adverse baby boomers and those older, have tried out delivery apps such as GrubHub or UberEats to get their favorite restaurant food delivered and grocery apps to have food and household items safely delivered. These newly formed habits may not be as intensive when we return to our “new normal,” but the depth and breadth of social media and digital usage will stay. Consumers aren’t going to uninstall Instacart after social distancing is lifted if they’re now accustomed to the convenience of ordering groceries online. That leap has been made, and while they may not use it every time they shop, consumers will continue to use it, when needed.
With all these changes, it’s important for brands to shift their social media strategy to meet the demands of consumers and connect with them in the channels they now frequent more often. Here are some of the key shifts to keep in mind.
While some countries are slowly easing their lockdown mandates, for many, uncertainty still remains for when business will return to “normal.” And a big question hovers: “When is the right time to take our foot off the break and apply the gas?” When you look at advertising costs as an indicator of economic recovery, it’s clear that now is the time, and social advertising is the vehicle.
What is the role of brands in facilitating this connection? A recent report shows that 91% of people believe in social media’s power to connect people, and 78% of consumers want brands to use social media to help people connect with each other. Those numbers send a clear message to companies as they navigate a crisis that is so much bigger than their brands: create connection through relevance.
But the question is how brands can achieve relevance right now. How can you create meaningful connections on social media during a global crisis? Here are a few tips.
Don’t mess with the algorithm.
That’s the fundamental idea behind Facebook’s significant edits. There’s a lot more to it, of course, and we’ll get into all that, but here’s the primary reason why you don’t want to make a change that Facebook construes as a significant edit: It will move your campaigns into “the learning phase,” which in turn will suppress your campaigns’ ROAS by 20-40%.
While there may be a downturn in customer spending during the Covid-19 crisis, there is an increase in customer touch points and attention. With Facebook usage up 50%, it is more important than ever for small businesses to turn to social media to maintain relevance and build relationships in their local communities.
Here are 50 social tips for 50 industries, complete with some real-world examples of best-practices for SMBs to keep their communities engaged, even in a crisis.
A small business’ reputation is the company’s most valuable intangible asset. During this current climate, we are seeing successful brands adapting quickly to their customers’ change in lifestyle and priorities. They’re catering for their isolation with services that make their lives not only easier but also more entertaining. By remaining engaged and keeping conversations fluid, small businesses will be able to weather the storm as well as keep and attract new customers.
A trustworthy and actionable understanding of local communities is now more important than ever.
Here are a few ways small businesses can build and sustain a healthy reputation.
It is against the backdrop of an unprecedented economic downturn that marketing tech makes its pitches to clients this year. On the one hand, it is fair to say cutting-edge marketing may be as important to businesses as ever. With storefronts closed across dozens of states to promote social distancing, businesses need ways to connect with customers, and they need novel, often tech-driven tactics, like curbside pickup, to sell their goods safely. E-commerce, including mobile and social commerce, are also well-positioned to thrive at a time when customers are often left with hardly any other option. On the other hand, with revenue dramatically down for most retailers and consumers averse to in-store spending, digital tools risk being cut from squeezed budgets.
To assess how the swift economic downturn caused by the coronavirus is affecting one of digital marketing’s hottest new sectors, influencer marketing, I connected with Daniel Schotland, COO of influencer marketing company Linqia.
When the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich was released last summer, the effect on sales was almost immediate. Customers filled Popeyes locations and waited in long lines to get a taste of the buzzy new sandwich. A Twitter feud between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A caused those lines to grow even longer, and the viral frenzy ended up draining the supply of “little chickens” to the point where a nationwide shortage ensued.
For GSD&M, the agency that handles Popeyes’ social media, the rollout was initially seen as a huge success. From a logistical perspective, though, it quickly turned into a nightmare as Popeyes struggled to keep up with demand.
Many of us are facing a reality in which #QuarantineLife is the new normal — at least for the foreseeable future. Even with offices temporarily shutting their doors and the worldwide workforce moving to a remote-based culture, the tools provided by local social advertising can help businesses, perhaps especially those dealing with store closures, drive their goals forward.
In 2020, a marketer’s goal should not be to create more content. It shouldn’t even be to create better content. Most brands, after all, are already doing a good job of generating content that provides value, service, comfort, and utility to people’s lives. What’s missing is a fundamental alignment between content and other marketing disciplines. Content, from a metrics standpoint, needs to speak the same language as paid media so that marketers can demonstrate the impact it has to their CMOs.
Following up on the success of its #YouMix2 AR campaign, which debuted at SXSW last year, Panera recently launched a follow-up initiative. Working with M7 Innovations, a technology-focused consultancy that specializes in artificial intelligence and immersive realities, Panera designed an AR campaign that involved animated breakfast wraps. Consumers were encouraged to experience Panera’s breakfast wraps through AR technology and share the assets to Facebook and Snapchat.
One of the most noteworthy benefits of today’s digital advertising landscape is the variety that comes with testing and choosing which social media platforms resonate most with your brand. If you have decided Instagram is the clear winner for social advertising, keep the many pros and cons of the mobile-friendly platform in mind. This column tackles Instagram’s demographics, measurement essentials, and global thinking.
We all know that digital advertising isn’t going anywhere. When brands pull back on spending on social and display advertising, they’re putting more resources into other channels. Over the past year, email monetization has gotten the bulk of this attention.
Using AI to systematically select ads that appeal to a publisher’s recipients means brands aren’t wasting their budgets on readers who aren’t interested in their products, and publishers aren’t turning off their readers by running unappealing ads.
Iconic moments in Super Bowl history like Oreo’s ‘Dunk in the Dark’ Tweet prove that ads are no longer the only path for creating noise. Smart businesses can capitalize on the game with strategic social content but should not over-rely on it. Instagram and Facebook are notorious for outages during big moments such as Thanksgiving Day in 2019. Twitter has also experienced its fair share of downtime, with outages across platforms lasting as long as 24 hours.
Instead of zeroing in exclusively on social channels, why not deliver a one-two punch by also serving up relevant content on your business’ blog and website? Here are a few tips to maximize content across marketing channels.
Finding success in a side hustle is exciting, and turning it into a profitable startup is even more so. You’ll hit a few roadblocks when starting out — everyone does! Figuring out where to target your audience and recognizing the appropriate time to hire help are crucial to overcoming them.
Though you may see burnout as an inevitable side effect to side hustling, it doesn’t have to be. Protect your energy and maintain perspective on the overarching goals you want to accomplish. It may require more than a typical nine-to-five, but entrepreneurs who remain digitally active and seek inspiration and support from their industry peers will find a rewarding career.
We’ll reach for our phones because the TV alone isn’t enough to entertain us, but this constant overstimulation leaves us wanting more. The fact that we’ll often use the ad breaks to check our phones throws the effectiveness of TV advertising into doubt, but the truth is whatever outlet consumers choose, marketers can no longer take a captive audience for granted.
Here are some tips to capture attention in a multi-screen media environment.
According to a recent study by the Performance Marketing Association (PMA), the affiliate marketing channel is expected to grow to over $6 billion by 2020. A Mediakix study found that US influencer marketing spend on Instagram alone is expected to grow $2.3 billion by 2020. The PMA study also indicated that content, bloggers, and social media accounted for 40% of ad spend by affiliate type in 2018, and that number is surely going up. All of these numbers support the idea that influencers and social media bring an incredible monetization opportunity to affiliate marketing.
Let’s look at five ways that brands active in the partner and affiliate channels can benefit from leveraging social media, and ultimately drive more revenue.
Ask someone to name a social media platform, and you’ll probably get the same answers: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. But it’s easy to forget that there are other powerful social platforms out there carving out a niche for themselves.
For marketers, these present an untapped opportunity. Read on to discover four lesser-known social platforms that will be great for connecting with prospective customers in 2020.