The Evolution of Social Media Marketing Post COVID-19

Social media has emerged as a force and resource for companies to tap into, particularly as they face reduced marketing spend due to the recessionary effects of COVID-19.

Undeniably disruptive, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses across the globe.

Companies have gone from rosy revenue projections to slashing budgets, reducing the workforce and scaling down spending in multiple areas.

As businesses adjust to the new normal, it’s resulted in big changes, with a heavier reliance on online, digital tools to accomplish objectives.

In other words, an evolution of social marketing has taken place in just a few months.

The evolution of social marketing – the captive audience

Social media has always been inherently addictive, but COVID-19 restrictions have only increased its impact.

With a significant number of people under varying degrees of lockdown, working remotely, or otherwise reducing their time away from home, this translates into an audience that’s larger than ever.

Bored and a bit anxious, people are looking for ways to distract and entertain themselves. One study shows an increase of over 60% in social media engagement compared to typical, pre-COVID patterns.

Businesses with their finger on the pulse are well-aware and capitalizing on these shifts in consumer behaviour.

E-commerce uptake has also gone way up. With brick and mortar stores closed or operating on reduced hours, almost every aspect of shopping has shifted to the internet.

While in the past, shoppers had the opportunity to browse at a physical store to make a purchase, comparing and contrasting different product attributes, post-pandemic, these activities have shifted online.

Over 80% of online shoppers look for product info, recommendations or reviews on social media before making a purchase.

Companies are taking advantage of social media as a way to control the conversation.

Forward-thinking businesses are relying on social media

Digital marketing is significantly more nimble and agile than traditional forms of advertising.

Promotional content and collateral can be produced and published in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the price.

Think about the cost of putting up a billboard vs uploading a photo to Instagram. Companies can quickly test out new messaging or try different approaches, measure the results and act accordingly.

It also serves as a new channel for businesses to communicate with their client base. B2Bs often rely on live events, conferences, and trade shows to build their networks and get the word out.

With face-to-face events cancelled or scaled back, social media has emerged as a new way for businesses to increase awareness and generate leads.

From aspirational to relational

Gone are the days of overproduced imaging, pricey featured products and the illusion of perfection (at least for now).

Millions are reeling from the impact of the pandemic, the effects of the recession, and the movements for social justice and reform. Businesses would be tone-deaf to continue publishing aspirational content, which could alienate their client base.

Instead, many companies have transitioned their messaging to be more relational, posting relevant, helpful content for their customers and issuing statements of support for positive change.

Businesses that have realigned their services to assist their customers and those who have pledged monetary donations are receiving buzzy, positive coverage.

Those who are perceived as capitalizing on this challenging time are heavily criticized.

As we begin to recover from the initial shock of COVID-19, it’s clear that social media will continue to play a role in an up-to-date marketing strategy.

It’s an area of significant opportunity for companies, particularly those who have not yet adopted a robust digital marketing plan in their business activities.

Contact a full-service digital marketing agency to help create an integrated marketing strategy across the most popular social media platforms.

Achieve online visibility and establish a digital presence for your company!