Even before 2020 has reached its halfway mark, a disease outbreak called the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) swept the globe with fear and apprehension.
To slow down the spreading growth of this contagious virus, governments all around the world halted several operations and businesses. This necessary action resulted in different consequences. But, the main goal of stopping such activities, aside from containing the infection, is to give way to the healthcare industry.
As a result, non-medical businesses have experienced a decline in terms of profit, movement, and development. Stock markets lost value up to a 25% decrease. Most importantly, the world economy is falling to its pit.
While many business owners stopped physical and tangible activities during this pandemic, there is another option that people have always been utilizing for years: the internet.
The Internet: Something We Can Owe Our Thanks To
Because of minimized manual labor and workforce, businesses opted for online operations. Numerous working groups, except the frontliners, are facing their computer screens all day long to fulfill their responsibilities at work.
While it might be the end for physical working sectors, many brands and companies are still fortunate enough to resume, although limited, their operations online. Indeed, we owe this to our technological developments.
Take Note: This Pandemic Is Not A Business Opportunity
With all horrifying events happening in different parts of the world, where does someone get the audacity to consider this event as a business opportunity? Taking advantage of this situation – using it as a marketing window – is entirely inhumane and insensitive.
Otherwise, it is acceptable to continue selling your products and services, as long as you remain with empathy and compassion, for the next few months. As well as not making fun of someone else's flaw, don't use the unfortunate events to gain profit for your welfare.
Increased Social Media Engagement In This Pandemic
Since a large segment of the world's population is currently at home quarantine, social media usage has increased. Since everyone is working remotely, it has also caused an alteration to people's daily routine. During these dire moments, social media became a vital tool for connection.
Since businesses are allowed to continue movement online, this can be their biggest opportunity to market and promote their brand in social media.
In the United States alone, 233.5 million active Facebook users were recorded in March, garnering a 2.5% increase from February. Imagine if your advertisements reached at least half of this population, you're more likely to score prospective customers than advertising it physically.
Another factor to consider is how focused your business is in looking for target communities and individuals.
For instance, if your business centers on sports, the best platform to boost your business is sports social media. Your business won't be as popular compared to posting it on beauty and cosmetic social media communities.
How Does COVID-19 Hone Social Media Marketing Today?
Going forward, we're going to look into various perspectives on how social media marketing of businesses has changed because of the global pandemic:
1. Brand Philosophy
During these trying times, many people contribute to good causes and maintain kind qualities as much as they can. When establishing a business, most entrepreneurs anchor their business startup with a brand purpose or philosophy to connect with socially responsible customers.
However, not all companies can live up to these claims, especially when they acquire the spotlight and expand their fan base. It can also happen when customers aren't availing their products anymore because of their purpose.
Today, these brands have the chance to remember their philosophies and start fulfilling them again. On another end, some businesses can also establish a new purpose as a form of support for the current health crisis. These can be mirrored through their social media blogs and posts, featuring text and visual media that express their contributions to the diseased frontliners, for example.
2. Products and Services Campaigns
To conduct good deeds to a greater extent, businesses announce various products and services changes in their websites and social media accounts. Usually, they put deals, offers, and discounts on their products since consumers are recently less well off due to unemployment.
Aside from considering the consumer's current financial status, businesses also make changes in their products and services to join campaigns and movements.
For instance, a particular company announces in their social media that they will donate 5% of their monthly profits to donate personal protective equipment (PPEs) for medical frontliners. As long as they're honestly contributing from their claims, this type of social media marketing isn't sketchy at all.
Surprisingly, some companies even set aside their profits to make their content accessible to everyone. These brands are mostly inclined for educational purposes and offer free online courses to help students and learners resume their hunt for knowledge, despite being quarantined at home.
While they don't receive any one-time payments and subscriptions from their audience, these companies won't wholly let access without anything in return. In fact, they earn from online visits.
3. Enhanced Customer Support and Services
Since there is a limited workforce in business establishments, employees work at home to regulate their company's venture. One of the primary responsibilities that they have to stick online is to offer customer personalized support and attention. Take note that satisfying customer questions and requests have a positive impact on a shopper's buying experience.
Knowing that a huge volume of customers is navigating online, businesses dispatch their human resources to concentrate on online support and service. Some company employees receive compensation during this pandemic, but some aren't.
Thankfully, consumers will be more aware of which brands don't choose to support their employees since their employees per se expose them on social media, where consumers are lurking around.
Moreover, some companies also extended their customer engagement to provide better assistance to people. For instance, they increase interaction from their website blogs and social media posts, capturing customer discussion.
These moments are ideal in communicating with customers and asking feedback and suggestions to take customer support to the next level, not only during a health crisis but also in the future.
During these dreadful moments where everyone's health is threatened, unity and cooperation are most needed.
COVID-19 has created massive impacts in various aspects of life, and this article summarizes the specific effects of the global pandemic on social media marketing, both the good and bad. After all, building a business shouldn’t be viewed as a money-making venture, but serving people with the right intentions and actions.
Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.