Before the global pandemic, social media was being labelled as an addiction to millennials. The media was filled with ‘social media detox’ tips, telling consumers it is bad for their mental and physical health and is to blame for the depression rates rising. However, in 2020 everything changed for social media (just one of the many ways Covid-19 has affected society). This was the year we all turned back to technology rather than ‘detoxing’ to stay up-to-date with current events, be entertained, and most importantly, keep connected to our friends and family.
During the early days of the pandemic, we utilised social media for the quickest source of information as TV broadcasts and newspapers could not compare with the speed news can spread in the online world. The demand for information on anything to do with Coronavirus was unprecedented to what the media had seen before. Social media not only got the latest news stories out the quickest, but they were also the most accessible.
With the national lockdowns and restrictions altering our lives drastically, we sought entertainment from social media more than ever trying to fill all our newly found spare time. There were booms in fitness trends, recipes, home improvement videos, crafting, dancing, and anything else to escape from the doom and gloom of the pandemic. This not only gave us the feeling of being united but helped reduce the sense of loneliness from being isolated. More people were finding their voice on social media, including a demographic that had not been the main consumer before, the elderly.
Throughout 2020 there was a huge growth in the 70 to 90 demographic on social platforms. All around the world, older generations were signing up and creating accounts to be able to communicate with their friends and family. Likewise, companies and brands that were not based online and some who did not use social media were now being pressured into creating an online presence to compete with those who had already captured their audience.
As our lives completely moved to be through computer screens, we as consumers searched for the feeling of the ‘real world’ online. We want to see real people with real lives to who we want to connect. This has led to the biggest increase in influencer marketing on social media. We seek inspiration for everything through these influencers as we want to feel a part of a community and find the socialisation that we now lack in person.
A reason influencer marketing is becoming more successful is due to the ability of the influencer to communicate with their audience through likes, replying to comments, Instagram lives, Q&A stories, etc. Through these outlets, they can establish and build relationships with their followers.
Brands need to acknowledge the changes 2020 has bought to the social media landscape and ensure they create community management and develop a strategy that incorporates having dialogues with their customers online. They must organise their values and develop a brand personality that their audience can relate to.
As people are not currently able to visit stores and experience customer service, they need to form that relationship elsewhere. By brands showing support for issues around the world that they believe in, it helps to make a positive impact on growing their personality and thus making them more attractive to the consumer. Utilising tools such as Facebook and Instagram lives makes the brand more authentic and personable and not just an online company. The ‘new normal’ for social media means that brands have to learn to embrace this new social aspect of the online community and develop their own personality.
If you are unsure how to increase engagement with your audience, why not start with our three top tips?
- Create a content plan for your social media to post once or twice a week. Posting consistently is key. Ensure you including captions, graphics, and relevant hashtags in your plan. Then you don’t have to worry about planning a post last minute.
- Arrange a Q&A session with your audience on your Facebook or Instagram story. Decide on a topic, for example, a new launch or customer service, and ask your audience for questions. Prepare your answers beforehand and post as a story or host a Facebook or Instagram live.
- Organise a competition or giveaway. This is a great way to increase your followers, your engagement, and appeal to a wider audience. You can either host this as an individual or team up with another brand or influencer.
If you would like to hear more about how to develop your social media and engage your audience, we’d love to help. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your business.