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The global spread of COVID-19 has changed the landscapes of many institutions, and social media is no exception. Businesses need to find creative ways to stay present in their customers’ minds, and social media - a contact-free tool - is going to play a huge role in working toward this goal.

A July post on Social Media Today shared some predictions made by marketers about the future of social media in a post-COVID world, including theories that creative skills will be more valuable and that “honesty, empathy and social consciousness will win on social.” And while authenticity has always been held high when it comes to brand identity, the post also hinted that the more authentic content is now, the better. With these predictions in mind, here are some reasons why social media connection is necessary – and some suggestions for how to engage.

Why Use Social Media More Now?

  1. In-person points of contact are now limited. We can’t all be in the same room together right now, posing some unique challenges to customer contact. However, with social media, you can stay present within your customers’ feeds – and therefore, in the front of their minds.
  2. Social media contact is inexpensive. While your company may be unable to fly clients out or host in-person meetings with catering, your costs may be down as a result. Social media provides a way to touch base with those same people, and maybe in a more informal, personal way.
  3. Customer service, and prompt assistance, are more important now than ever. Customers are taking this time to make important decisions about who they wish to work with and who they feel is expendable. Make your company indispensable with a high level of customer support over social media.
  4. Keeping your brand visible is crucial to its health in the future. According to Anna Rudicel, Marketing Director of Cyclone Social, in the post by Social Media Today, “the businesses that pushed up their sleeves and got to work on social media marketing efforts during a major crisis will reap the rewards when the crisis starts to fade.”

How to Engage with Followers?

  1. Adapt. First of all, if you don’t already have a presence on social media, now is when you need to take action to change that. If you do have those channels in place, take some time now to understand them and learn which platforms are best for your needs. Keep tabs on changes (you might start with this social media news roundup).
  2. Listen. This goes back to the customer service side of things. Now is a great time to ask customers for their feedback and check in on what you can do right now to assist.
  3. Incorporate more video into your posts. A discussion during the Marketing Mix happy hour at the FGIA Virtual Summer Conference touched on this, and many agreed that low scale video is more acceptable during these strange times, when access to a production crew is not feasible. Get creative with your iPhone camera and share behind-the-scenes looks at things like new products, new personnel or even what your company is doing to ensure a safe work environment. People want to support companies that care, especially now.
  4. Be a human. One of the most distressing things about lockdown and quarantine is the lack of human connection. The good news is, we are all in this together. Now is an acceptable time to be a little more personal. FGIA’s Instagram account gave some examples recently of showing how our staff stayed connected during our Virtual Staff Week. Based on feedback, our followers enjoyed seeing staff’s pets as well as our high school senior photos!

How will you stay engaged with your base on social media? Comment below to share ideas.