Hollie Tudor-Smith of Dragonfly Creative outlines the importance of marketing during these challenging times, with some tips on utilising social media.
On the 24th March the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced a series of new measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the UK. In a televised announcement he asked British citizens to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. These measures are having a significant impact on businesses and the economy.
There are three economic scenarios that could potentially unfold during this pandemic: a quick recovery (which we all hope for); a global slowdown; and in the worst case a pandemic-driven recession. With this in mind, businesses all over the UK will be turning to their local communities and existing customers. The Drum has noted that ‘you need to keep in touch with your customers or you risk losing them. It's always cheaper to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one.’
The challenge of doing this will depend on the nature of the business, for example B2B (business to business) companies tend to rely on marketing strategies that are heavily based on socialising and networking to build customer relations. However, whatever the business, it is likely that social media can help at this difficult point in time.
The social media industry is bound to become more important during this pandemic. This has already been recognised by the major social media platforms. Facebook for example, has taken action in blocking anyone running ads to exploit the current situation. As is Google, who have removed any content on YouTube that claims to prevent the coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment, and is also blocking all ads capitalising on the coronavirus.
Businesses might want to follow this lead by building or amending their social media presence during this time. This involves businesses considering their goals, their target audience and what message they want to want to share with their audience. Once the plan is in place they should consider the following tips to generate more interaction on social media.
1) Make use of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the perfect place for B2B companies to be. LinkedIn’s ‘Marketing Solutions’ blog noted that 61 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers, and 40 million are in decision-making positions. Most people on LinkedIn are actually seeking company opportunities or to read valuable content.
2) Create insightful content and offer clients and businesses helpful tips
Creating new, frequent and insightful content is a necessary practice of business in any industry as according to Dragon Search Marketing, “61% of a consumer's buying decision is influenced by custom content.”
3) Engage with customers by linking, reposting and commenting on other people's content
Research shows that businesses who provide a good customer experience are estimated to bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors who do not. Interacting online with customers and potential customers can influence their purchasing decisions and make your brand more trustworthy.
4) Create video content
HubSpot noted that in 2020, 92% of marketers say that video is an important part of their marketing strategy. This has increased from 78% in 2015, showing the importance of video marketing and how it is growing drastically.
5) Uploading business photos or images.
It is important that your posts stand out and are visual. 80% of people remember what they see, compared to ten percent what they hear and 20 percent what they read.
6) Utilise trending and general hashtags to support your content.
Tweets with hashtags get almost double the engagement of tweets without them. Use hashtags that are related to your content and also research the most popular hashtags in relation to your business. The ‘trending’ facilities of most social media platforms make this quite a straight forward but often under-utilised strategy.
7) Show off your client testimonials on social media.
Third person validation is an extremely powerful tool. It is now said that 92% of customers read online reviews before buying. So make sure you showcase all your positive reviews, and take time to check what people are saying about you.
In conclusion, while these are just a few ideas to get you started, it is important to remember that nearly half of the world’s population are using social media platforms. Furthermore, 90% of companies on social media use a range of platforms for brand awareness, and companies which engage on social media get a 119% better return on investment.
This article on Social Media is the first in a series of marketing tips, prepared by Hollie Tudor-Smith of Dragonfly Creative.