Where (and how) you can grow in the social media landscape during COVID-19

Emelie Lundberg
By Emelie Lundberg | 2 June 2020

Emelie Lundberg, head of social at Resolution Digital

All brands, even those in booming industries, are facing challenges as COVID-19 continues to play havoc with people’s daily lives.

In an effort to connect with friends, family and brands, consumers are spending more time on social. So, adapting to the changing social media landscape is more crucial than ever.

Today’s social media landscape

At Resolution, we are working with our social platform partners to collect and understand the ever-changing user behaviour across social media and how one can use itto their benefit.

This is how the current social media landscape looks after approximately three months of lockdown:
1. Facebook has seen consumer usage increase immensely across their platforms, including Instagram and Messenger, as people look to connect and find entertainment in isolation. Facebook’s internal survey data shows consumers want brands to help them with their daily lives (78%) over offering discounts (30%).

Consumers are also hunting for “boredom busting content” with video usage booming and Instagram Live views doubling in past weeks. Globally, Facebook has seen the most significant increase in Messenger usage. 70% more people are using this platform for group calls so it should absolutely be included in your current social activity.

2. Snapchat has experienced its highest engagement since they launched in 2011. Consumers are using it for entertainment, connectionand to discover news and health and fitness content. Plus, time spent playing with Lenses is up by more than 25%. Brands with a huge opportunity here to build engaging brand love.

3. TikTok now has 4.1 million Australian monthly active users, 500,000 of these joined in the last two months.
TikTok inspires creativity and sparks joy for consumers, but creating unique content and telling personal isolation stories is currently most common.Users are spending an average 62 minutes per day on the app and accessing the app on an average of 14 times per day.

How can your brand join the conversation?

There are three ways you can harness and make the most of these changes:

1. Review and adapt your current activity 
Stopping to understand the situation and the role that your brand can play in people’s lives is now more important than ever.

At a minimum, review the social activity you have already planned and ensure it is suitable for the current so cial media landscape. And remember, consumers want transparent and proactive communication from brands.

2. Re-plan your social strategy:
Although social consumption and engagement has amplified, in March cost metrics including CPMs and CPCs decreased by up to 50% on Facebook, as reported by eMarketer. So, while many brands are hitting pause, this is the right time to do the opposite.

We know that in previous economic crises brands who continued to invest saw significant growth compared to brands that cut spend. The 2009 recession saw Amazon sales grow 28%. They achieved this by:

  • Maintaining their long-term strategy
  • Pushing innovation by shifting consumer focus to their Kindle products

Plus, 50% of Australians believe that brands should advertise as normal in the current climate.

But, before you launch any new placements, make sure you are not appearing opportunistic. Instead, consider how your brand can

  • Drive positivity
  • Provide entertainment
  • Give back to your community

With engagement levels at an all time high on Snapchat and TikTok, perhaps it’s even time for your brand to test a new platform?

3. Prepare for recovery
Take this time to plan for when the world and our lives bounce back from COVID-19.

With so many brands planning new activities for when restrictions are lifted, it’s important for your plan to cut through and stand out against your competitors.

Three ways your brand can smartly implement a new social strategy

1. Improve community management support
Brands are seeing huge spikes in customer queries on social channels as consumers no longer buy in-store.
Engaging resources to provide additional support can help you:

  • Put your consumers at ease
  • Take them feel listened to
  • Respond to their queries as quickly as possible

Proprietary and confidential

2. Increase social listening
Tapping into current expert research can help you reframe your messaging to suit the current social media landscape. Our social team has run extra social listening studies to get a comprehensive understanding of consumer sentiment around brands and key categories.

3. Produce thoughtful content economically

Producing content in the current climate with reduced budgets is challenging.
One way to create meaningful and genuine content for your brand without blowing your marketing spend is to partner with relevant influencers. Our social media team can help you find the best influencer for your brand from our network of hundreds of influencers of all levels across almost every industry in Australia.

Three fine examples of brands doing social good

Brands across the globe have really stepped up to the plate including:
1. H&M - launched a campaign using their platform to promote the Red Cross
2. Havaianas - transformed their factories to make clogs for Brazilian health care workers
3. Lush - set up handwashing stations and offered individual samples

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