Unless you are living under a rock, you already know about COVID. With physical contact not being an option to socialize, the only mode of communication that is left is social media. The Akamai reports show a 30% increase in global internet usage. Although the lockdown has been lifted in most of the countries around the world, statistics show that we are still spending more time on social media as compared to the beginning of 2020. As mentioned in Forbes by Kathleen Bisset, social media director at SSPR, “Social advertising is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website, and becomes easier by the day with social platforms’ ever-evolving targeting abilities.” The pandemic has made all advertisers re-evaluate the sort of campaigns that they run.
Social media has come to the frontline as the major platform for customer communication and building relationships with the customers. In the situation of lockdown and even post lockdown when face to face interactions is still risky, it becomes a major hindrance for companies to provide assistance to their consumers. Samsung came through by providing customer support, tracking and repairing services over WhatsApp. Moreover, it came up with various online consultancies and solved approximately 70,000 queries.
Do you still stream offline?
One of the major changes that is expected in the future is the decline in pay-tv advertisements. With the advent of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, television consumption is declining at a rapid rate. Netflix got 16 million fresh registrations, which is nearly twice as much as it had seen towards the end of 2019. On the other hand, India’s leading pay-tv service Tata sky lost 15 lakh users. It is evident that the future of pay- tv is jeopardised. Along with this, tv style advertising may also be in jeopardy but it is far from being extinct since most of these offline tv channels are shifting online, the most recent and popular is Zee5.
Just do it right
Undoubtedly the sales of many companies have reduced. However, companies have tried to maintain their image through social media. Nike took the lead here when it made its Nike Training Club free for all users. The application which previously costed approximately 120 dollars per annum was made completely free to all under Nike’s “play inside, play for the world” advertisement. Nike gained 25 million new members and half of these have converted to customers accelerating its online sales. As Heidi O’Neill, President of Nike’s Marketplace, says “converting sweats to sales”. Although it does not cover Nike’s usual sales, it definitely builds a relationship that will boost future growth. Nike didn’t just do it, it did it right.
Influence with Influencers
The best way to engage with the maximum number of users is through social media influencers. These content creators have strong bonds with their followers and majorly impact the buying decisions of the viewers. The effort of developing a devoted base of followers is already been done by these influencers and brands can directly take advantage of it. About two-third of advertisers have increased their spending on promotion through influencers. E-commerce, fashion, beauty, gaming and lifestyle industries have all collaborated with creators to market their products or services. Instagram has proven to be the most influential channel during this pandemic where over 1 billion sponsored posts are shared by millions of influencers. Covid-19 has made influencers even more influential.
Freelancer: to be or not to be
With millions unemployed around the world, freelancing has become popular. Since mid-March, Upwork, an American freelancing platform, has seen 50% jump in new registrations. However, spurt in freelancers has also led to decrease in charges. Moreover, many businesses have tried to cut down their expenses by cutting off freelancers or putting a hold to their contract. After surveying 1000 freelancers, Payoneer reports stated almost 32% have said that work has declined, 23% said it has remained the same and 17% said demand has risen. The same survey reports show that 53% are optimistic that demand will increase in the future especially when remote work is favoured.
Times are difficult and businesses are not doing very well. However, social media marketing is definitely the tool to help you pick up the rubbles and rebuild something stronger and better.