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How Social Media will help your Brand in the times of Crisis like the Pandemic COVID-19?

Contributors: Amol Ghemud
Published: April 3, 2020

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Social media is more than selling your product or service, we marketers and stakeholders should consider this and take advantage of this opportunity to make the most of it. 

Fast forward to the current Pandemic situation, everyone is locked down and working remotely from home, while few brands have given a new perspective to approach this situation. Marketers know very well how – the customers will remember which brands showed up, what did the brand said, and how did they help in supporting the cause.

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Social media platforms help brands to coordinate fast responses and speedy audience engagement. It helps to make your brand alive and resonate with dealing with the current crises. 

Let’s check out how your brand can become flexible in the business, communications strategies to stay connected and actions that will demonstrate your brand identity in the chaotic months ahead.

Restore human connections

Social Platforms have given the opportunity for brands to establish human connections with their end-users. With this pandemic situation, it becomes all the more important to connect with people and support the cause and keep the bond intact.

The need for 1:1 connection has surged. In a press call, Mark Zuckerburg reported that WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger usage has increased double the times since the start of the  COVID-19 crisis. In particular, global consumers are turning to each other with voice calling and 1:1 messaging.

We always talk about brands having deeper purposes and deeper conversations, it is the correct time to build long-lasting impressions on the audience and put our brand statements to test.

Not all organizations are capable of saving the world, but then how can we add sparks of light and connections in times of crisis? Let’s check these examples who are making people feel better and are doing good with their content and ideas to help people cope up with the lockdown situations.

Hallmark—the very affirmative poster brand has announced that they’re bringing back their famous Christmas movie marathons earlier this year starting this March to help your self-quarantine.

In Chile, DJs are performing live sets on apps like TikTok and Instagram while audience members react in real-time on their phones.

Establish 1:1 connections with customers, make use of including increased use of Facebook Groups, social video (especially on TikTok) live streaming, and 1:1 messaging are few of the tactics brands should lay their hands on.

Compelling approaches towards your brand

Many organizations are deploying their virtual technology at par with social distancing limiting physical world interactions, end users are looking for digital solutions.

While virtual experiences are helping to keep retail and service businesses afloat, people still want human influence. 

Many small businesses – especially the influencers and service-oriented businesses such as beauty salons and fitness centers – have completely taken over the socio-only services with some really brilliant results. 

For example,

Sophie Pavitt is a New York-based facialist. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, she saw an instant decline in in-office cancellations. On the contrary, she started offering live guided facial tutorials on her Instagram channel. On the Live session, she saw more than 10% of her 7,285 followers tune in on day 1! She opted for doing tutorials on Instagram Live every Sunday so customers can perform facials while staying home and indulge in some self-care routine in this stressful situation.

#MyGlamm, the renowned skincare and cosmetic product brand is all set to keep their users engaged and tuned in with their various product offering routine and posts that help their audience entertained and engaged. This approach helped them to keep trending on social media and as well as in prospects’ minds.

In the above examples, gives the sense of new digital capabilities and the spiking demand for online and social interaction of users will outlast the epidemic and become a new norm in the coming years.

Support the cause to build the future

There are short term goals and strategies needed to adjust the current scenario and facing the reality, brands need to think of the long term plan using quick lessons learned during the COVID-19 outbreak to build long-lasting relationships with users.

What lessons offer bigger strategic solutions that we can develop in the months ahead?

We observe how organizations with digital transformation efforts well underway are surviving better than the ones firmly rooted in the physical world.

It is time to display brand culture towards their customers and employees. An initiative like ‘work from home’ tips, keeping the employees engaged, taking care of employees and prospects who are in need is empowering gesture.

The need of the hour is to develop new collaborative skills and learn important lessons about keeping customers engaged when the crisis is over.

Take bold marketing steps  – Donate/ Support

The unfortunate spread of COVID-19 has disrupted lives, livelihoods, communities and businesses worldwide.

Organizations around the world, including the brands, forums and partners, are coming together and finding innovative ways to tackle the pandemic.

Here are some of the examples of bug brands helping the community and getting appreciated worldwide.

Nestlé provides emergency help – donating food, medical nutrition products, bottled water & CHF 10 million to countries in greatest need.

Nestlé has stepped up its humanitarian efforts in the response to COVID-19 by partnering with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to provide urgent help to emergency services, caregivers, and to strengthen health systems.

Inditex, which owns fashion retailer Zara, said it was looking into ways to convert part of its textile manufacturing capacity in Spain to make hospital gowns.

It was also planning to donate 300,000 masks and make its logistics and supplier network available to meet the demand for emergency medical supplies.

H&M has followed suit and has offered to donate and source supplies of protective masks, gowns and gloves to countries most affected in the EU.

Luxury firm LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, TAG Heuer and many other brands, will use its perfume production infrastructure to make hand sanitiser.

“LVMH will use the production lines of its perfume and cosmetic brands… to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gels,” the company said in a statement.

And the company is not stopping there. LVMH, a partner of the Forum, has also pledged to work with a Chinese industrial supplier to secure 10 million surgical face masks which will be distributed to French health services.

Lastly, let’s all strive together to fight this pandemic by staying connected to customers and communities.

What are the benefits of social media for business

There are several benefits of social media for business. We’ve listed a few below.
Faster communication: customers can contact brands for assistance, and brands can receive, review and respond to customer queries in real-time.

Networking: Social media allows you to network and build relationships with a like-minded audience, allowing you to make valuable connections and gain potential business opportunities.

Boost organic visibility: There is SEO value to be gained from social media in the form of quality backlinks to your brand’s website, it also sends relevancy signals to search engines to make sure that your content is visible and shareable.

Increase website traffic: With an engaged audience on your social media platforms, website traffic is likely to increase, since social media channels are supplemental to to a website’s brand by offering entertaining and informative content.

How can I improve my social media brand?

Having a social media presence is important for any brand in today’s digital age. This is where customers come for information, as well as glimpse into what your brand is all about.

Firstly, choose the right networks. If you are in the B2B space, it would be a better idea to leverage LinkedIn as opposed to more visual mediums like Instagram and Facebook. On the other hand, if you are in retail, then these two platforms are ideal.

Secondly, you need to set goals. Being active isn’t enough – what are you looking to achieve? Have you mapped out a strategy for it? Whether it’s generating leads or engaging with customers, you need to define what you want out of social media and measure your success.

Thirdly, you need to actively engage with your audience. Social media is about sparking a conversation, so you don’t want to be talking at your followers, but engaging with them. Be responsive and take the time to comment and reply.

What are the advantages of using social media?

There are several benefits of using social media. 
 Initiate a direct conversation with your audience.
 Tell your brand’s story, your way. Share your vision, mission, values and even behind-the-scenes stories.
 Gather feedback and learn ways to improve your product or service. 
Build customer loyalty by conversing with customers and keeping them informed and up-to-date about launches, changes and more. 
Redirect traffic to your site 
Drive conversions by adding CTAs in your posts.
 Promote content and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.

How does social media affect branding?

Social media can have a major impact on your branding, because it directly encourages the user/follower to share your posts, stories and content with others in their network.

Since people can review your brand’s products and services on their own handles and share it in their network, the domino effect of having a good or bad review can be intense. Customer experiences – good and bad – also come in the public domain, so it’s important that you respond to complaints quickly and in an effective manner.

An active and authentic presence on social media and being open to dialogue can help brands gain the trust and loyalty of existing customers, so use your platform wisely and with a proper strategy in place.

How do you position your brand on social media?

Having a social media presence is a must for any brand these days – it’s the best way to showcase your products and be found by potential customers.

First, choose the right networks – there’s no point being on a network if your audience isn’t on it. B2B sellers do well on LinkedIn, while retailers are better off on visual mediums like Instagram and Pinterest where their products can be showcased.

Secondly, it’s important to find your niche and cater to it – what makes this group tick, what are their interests, and how best can you get through to them?

Thirdly, it’s important to set tangible goals, so that you can measure the effectiveness of your activity. Whether it’s generating leads, getting more traffic to your website or boosting engagement levels, define what you are after.

About the Author

amol ghemud
Optimizer in Chief

Amol has helped catalyse business growth with his strategic & data-driven methodologies. With a decade of experience in the field of marketing, he has donned multiple hats, from channel optimization, data analytics and creative brand positioning to growth engineering and sales.

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