Right now, navigating social media is not an easy task. More than ever, brands have to make sure their campaigns are not just engaging, but timely and sensitive to the needs and opinions of their audience. Juggling this while promoting products or services during the economic downturn has turned into an expert balancing act.
In this blog, we address a few important topics that will help you better understand how to foster audience engagement — even in times like these:
The importance of social media during this season
Tactics to increase engagement
The best way to connect with your audience
The social (media) climate changes daily. Even still, there are some no-fail approaches to help you connect to your online community. Let’s get started.
Understand Your Audience’s Feelings
Understanding how your audience is feeling during this time is key to creating relatable social media content. For example, Potbelly Sandwich Shops recently promoted “alone time” parking spots on their social media: child-free parking spots where stressed-out parents can (finally) eat in peace. Parents can order pickup through the app or site, park in one of the designated spots, and then call the restaurant to say they’re ready for curbside pickup.
This campaign recognizes the time parents are spending at home with their kids. It empathizes with them in a humorous way and offers a helpful solution. Potbelly’s lightly humorous tone of voice in their day-to-day social media presence keeps their platform a lighthearted reprieve during this anxious time.
By tuning in to how your audience is feeling, your social content feels much more personal and is more likely to be read, shared, and remembered.
The best way to connect with consumers in 2020 is to be intentional and empathetic in your message. Don’t shy away from the more isolating or distressing current events we’re facing.
Authenticity is the most desirable social media trait for any brand. Stay honest about how your brand is coping during this time and, whenever possible, use your platform to connect and share — not sell.
Focus On the Community
Marketing expectations are shifting quickly. One trend that has prevailed throughout the early months of the pandemic is focusing on community — not profits. People want to see companies giving back to the community and helping those who are struggling. Repeating “we’re all in this together” can fall flat if not followed with generous actions. For brands with the available resources, giving back is an essential part of brand representation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lowe’s latest social media campaign is encouraging customers to thank front-line health care workers with homemade, DIY signs. After donating $170 million to coronavirus relief, Lowe’s is using the hashtag #BuildThanks to highlight customers that are showing their appreciation for these heroes, as well as encouraging others to participate by making their own signs at home. Their campaign is an excellent example of staying true to their brand while responding and adapting to current events. Highlighting heroes from your community (in a creative way) is a great way to communicate gratitude that rings true to your brand identity.
Be Creative With Content
More people are turning to newer social platforms for creative sources of entertainment, such as Twitch or TikTok — the controversial app that reports growth of nearly 800 percent from January 2018.
These apps offer unique content that more familiar social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram do not. Short, viral videos, live streams of e-sports, and interactive games or filters, have surged in popularity as people seek entertainment outside of traditional social activities. Intentionally using these creative platforms can show your brand’s “fun side,” as well as help you reach and engage with new audiences.
A well-executed example of this is The Almond Board of California’s newest campaign. This brand often advertises during sporting events, but due to COVID-19, all live sports are on hold. The Almond Board of California decided to make the shift from live sports to e-sports, and moved all their marketing efforts to Twitch, the live-streaming platform for gamers. Their campaign includes pop-up banners and videos with taglines such as “natural fuel for keeping up your kill streak” that resonate with gamers. This creative use of a non-traditional social platform allowed The Almond Board of California to reach and engage with an untapped, growing audience. How could your brand make a name for itself on these new, growing social platforms?
2020 is the year of opportunity when it comes to establishing your brand’s online personality. But being intentional and thoughtful about your campaign messaging is more crucial than ever. Although it can be difficult to discern the best course of action for your business, evaluating your social media efforts with these tactics in mind can help bring some clarity, and help you connect with your community in the midst of this tumultuous year.
When it comes to creating an engaging campaign, consulting a team of social media experts is the best option. At Ardent Creative, we create engaging social ads, posts, animated gifs, and develop a strategic social calendar to help you evolve your brand. Contact us today for your next project.