There’s no denying that these are tough times. When times are tough, it’s prevalent for brands to struggle with what to say, particularly on social media. When you are working on a social media marketing strategy, it is essential to be sensitive to the times and trends. During this highly confusing and stressful time, it is crucial to listen to and acknowledge the strains of your audience, continue posting content that is relevant, and be sure to tell your followers what steps you are taking to keep your employees and your customers safe and happy during this time.
The wedding industry professionals are adopting new ways to keep up their social media game. Your clients already view you as an expert in all things wedding planning, so expect them to rely on you even more right now. As always, please remember that you are the experienced professional, while your couple is likely doing this for the first time and is relying on you for guidance and suggestions, and that’s what we have to showcase through our social media.
Why Is Social Media More Important Now Than Ever?
Social media usage has grown as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, as more users go online to stay connected with family, friends, and colleagues. Now, new data from insights and consulting firm Kantar reveals exactly how much some apps are benefiting.
Changing Media Habits
As countries move deeper into the pandemic, so media consumption increases across all in-home channels. In later stages of the pandemic, web browsing increases by 70%, followed by (traditional) TV viewing increasing by 63% and social media engagement increasing by 61% over normal usage rates.
Across all stages of the pandemic, WhatsApp is the social media app experiencing the greatest gains in usage as people look to stay connected. Overall, WhatsApp has seen a 40% increase in usage; in the early phase of the pandemic usage increases 27%, in mid-phase 41% and countries in the late phase of the pandemic see an increase of 51%. Spain experienced a 76% increase in time spent on WhatsApp. Overall Facebook usage has increased by 37%. China experienced a 58% increase in usage of local social media apps including Wechat and Weibo.
People are turning to different channels for different content. For instance, TikTok and Snapchat have been sources of fun, entertaining distraction during this time. Snapchat reached its highest number of users amid COVID-19.
“Sixty-five percent of consumers expect that company actions during this time will likely impact which brands they decide to purchase in the future.” – Agility PR Solutions
Dos & Don’ts Of Social Media
Picture Courtesy: @shutterstock
Do: Make Your Brand As Human As Possible – A Twitter official blog post wonderfully describes this point. “Be thoughtful about the tone of voice. Just like people, brands should evolve their tone depending on the context. One of the most shared COVID-19 related Tweets, speaks well to the importance of tone, as Kumail Nanjiani reminds people to think of others who may be more vulnerable to this virus. How do you get this right? The best way is by listening to what people, and your customers, are saying — and reflecting that in your copy and tone appropriately.”
Don’t: Avoid Direct Promotion – Right now might not be the best time to be snarky or sarcastic, while empathy, understanding, and even certain types of humor may go a long way. Many pros in the weddings and events community have added new offerings in the midst of COVID-19 — from new online print shops to hourly consulting and more. But rather than promoting it as a way to make money for your business (which, of course, it is!), focus on why it’s special, unique, and valuable. In other words, sell your work and offerings, not your circumstances.
Do: Keep Posting – If you are unable to sell your products, create content highlighting possible deals you will be offering when you re-open or how-to videos of the products you will be restocking for sale. Create a hashtag that goes viral. Create a campaign. Keep posting reliable information because that’s what people are looking for right now in terms of wedding industry news and updates. If you have useful and reliable information that might help people navigate the uncertainty, or keep people calm, you should share it. Go live and answer questions, share stories, and connect with your community.
Don’t: Use Extreme words – Don’t post news or content that spreads negativity or bring the morale down. We know it’s tough to hold up at this time, so ensure you spread information that helps them. Eg: Instead of sharing news like ’10 Wedding Dress Shops Got Closed’ share ‘We’ve still got this Despite The Challenges Industry is facing.’ Try to neutralize the situation with your content.
Do: Take advantage of many ‘FREE’ social media features. Experiment with new types of content like video. Connect with an influencer. Ask your supporters to share their stories. Launch your TikTok! Invest in growing your Pinterest account! If your business is closed or unable to operate right now, such as wedding photographers, hairstylists, florists, etc, you want to share content with the goal of retention: staying in touch with your existing followers, so that you are top-of-mind when they are able to use your services or book an experience with you again.
Don’t: Exaggerate Your Services – Continue to post videos and testimonials on how amazing you or your business is or post content that has doomsday written all over. Your content must add value to people and to their lives, and if it doesn’t you’ll quickly be removed from their news feed.
Feature Image Credit: @shmuraiphoto