The social media marketing landscape has changed drastically over the last 12 months, but we’re now headed into a “new normal” as restrictions begin to lift and vaccines are readily available. Say goodbye to retail and restaurant closures and work from home policies, but get ready for new user behaviours and purchasing patterns that have adapted to the previous year. What does that mean for social media marketing?
We’ve looked into the patterns that are here to stay post-pandemic, trends that will be different and how your brand can adapt and navigate through it all.
Catch your audience’s attention with short-form video
As public meeting places closed down, social media became the go-to place for news, information, entertainment, and human interaction. Impressions on Instagram campaigns jumped 22% in March 2020. Between January and March, TikTok’s unique visitor count jumped 48.3%. Facebook messaging apps doubled in usage.
But when beaches and bars started opening back up in summer 2020, social media use dropped. Similar trends are expected this year, with only 17% of survey respondents worldwide expecting their social media habits to remain the same as in early 2020. When restrictions lift further, people will prioritise IRL activities like spending time with family and friends, traveling, and attending events.
With people checking social media less often, it’ll be crucial to catch their attention when they do log on. Short-form content has seen a massive rise during the pandemic, and will only continue in popularity. Invest in TikTok, Reels, and Instagram Stories to catch your audience’s attention for longer.
Keep optimising for social commerce
During the pandemic people shifted to shopping online out of necessity, but even once restrictions lift they’ll continue shopping online out of convenience.
As consumer spending is predicted to continue increasing, now is an opportune time for your brand to optimise for social shopping. It’s key for your social profiles to be set up on relevant social shopping platforms and that your ads have clear CTA’s to move customers along the buyer journey.
Share relatable content
When lockdown began, brands shifted to relatable, at-home content to reflect how consumers were living. As people are feeling more comfortable leaving their homes and gathering in groups, they want to see content that reflects a “new normal” lifestyle.
This doesn’t mean immediately post Stories of crowded bars and jet-hopping adventures. Even as restrictions begin to lift and there’s a hopeful sentiment in the air, people are still recovering from a stressful year.
Be mindful of your audience’s comfort level and anxieties. Social listening can help you get an idea of your audience’s sentiments, then you can create content from there.
Create a personal connection
The pandemic highlighted consumer’s craving for more authentic, untouched content from brands and creators. Even as we’re able to return to offices and photo studios, continue to give your audience a more personal, behind-the-scenes look at your operations.
Partnering with influencers and encouraging followers to submit UGC are also great ways to lend a human touch to your content.
Continue to show your values
The pandemic highlighted inequalities in the world, with marginalised groups getting sick and losing jobs at disproportionate rates. Combined with the opportunity to slow down and take stock of our values, COVID-19 sparked an unprecedented social media activism from individuals and brands alike.
Post-pandemic, continue to showcase your brand values through your social media content. Ride the wave of social optimism by showing how your brand is helping further causes that your audience cares about.
Think outside the box
The pandemic pushed us out of our routines, forcing us to pivot and find creative solutions. Harness that creativity going forward to continue to intrigue and delight your audience even after life goes back to normal. For instance, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is offering anyone with proof of a COVID vaccination a free doughnut a day for the rest of the year. What is a creative and on-brand way for you to catch your audience’s attention post-pandemic?
Even though we’re closer to living with fewer restrictions, the lessons we learned during the pandemic can continue to help your brand connect with your audience and build affinity. The adjustment back to pre-pandemic life will be slow, so make sure you keep pace with your audience through smart social media strategies.