Why social media managers matter more than ever

Thu Apr 23 2020
Terilyn Walker

It’s scary to say, but at one point or another during this worldwide pandemic, we’ve all questioned the future of our jobs. Today, we’re speaking to social media managers to boost your morale and let you know that in today’s climate, the importance of your role in driving growth for your company is even more critical.

As marketing budgets get cut, social media is a low-cost and extremely effective way to keep the lights on for your organic marketing channels. An AspireIQ survey found that during self isolation, 56% of people say they will spend more time on social media. Furthermore, 76% of consumers are more or just as likely to want to interact with their favorite brand.

What does that mean? While interactions in retail stores are on hold, email opens are at an all-time low, and in-person events are nonexistent, social media managers’ job of leveraging digital spaces to communicate with their audience has become a top priority for consumer brands.

Social media is one of the most effective ways to engage and interact with audiences in order to build relationships that keep your brand top of mind post COVID-19. Consumers want to connect, not just with each other, but with the brands that they love. So, it’s up to you to give them the space to do so.

And using social media to strengthen consumer-brand relationships can result in:

  • Increased brand affinity
  • Increased brand loyalty
  • Increased sales and retention
  • Increased advocacy and word-of-mouth referrals

So for all of you social media managers, here are 3 ways to use social media to support these company-wide goals and prove how essential you are, now more than ever.

Use social media to strengthen your brand community

Social media is a great way for brands to have direct, one-to-one communication with their enthusiasts. Rather than focusing on acquiring new followers, prioritize maintaining relationships with the ones you already have.

Strengthen relationships with the people who are already fans of your brand by asking questions, curating personalized content, creating polls, and encouraging conversations in the comment section of your posts.

For example, the social media team at Bouqs, asked followers what they wanted to see from the brand during uncertain times in a heartfelt Instagram post. The comment section was filled with hundreds of comments from loyal customers giving the brand content suggestions, as well as new followers who expressed that they were impressed with the brand’s genuine effort to resonate with their audience. Unlike email blasts, blog posts, or other forms of mass communication, Instagram allows you to have 1:1 conversations such as this, which is always important, but even more crucial when in-person interactions are not an option.

Provide real-time feedback on brand positioning and messaging

Because social media managers have direct access to consumer opinions, they can bridge the gap between customers and brand by providing invaluable insights and real-time feedback to other teams such as customer support, product development, and branding.

Oftentimes, the comment section on social media platforms becomes a customer support forum. Social media managers, take note of common questions and concerns during this time and gage how your audience resonates with certain messages by tracking comment sentiment, engagement, and more. Then, share findings with internal teams to improve product innovation and brand messaging.

The social media team at Reformation, a high-end fashion company, heavily monitors its comment section on Instagram. For example, consumers posted tons of questions and concerns about the brand’s partnership with the City of LA to create face masks for non-medical essential workers, mostly centered around the masks’ effectiveness. The brand took note and posted more information on the masks themselves and why it chose to create masks for non-medical workers.

Keep your brand top-of-mind post-COVID

Focusing solely on strategies that drive immediate purchases, such as paid ads or Google Adwords, may be unwise because many people are simply looking for inspiration during a time when purchasing may not be an option. Instead, you should be empathetic to potential financial hardships and shy away from hard sales.

MIXT has kept its restaurants open for pickup, yet the company understands that many people have fallen on hard times financially and mentally. In an effort to encourage people to eat healthy despite the stress and anxiety we’re all dealing with, the brand announced on all social media platforms that it is offering discount codes to get up to 100% off of a meal for those in need. People flooded the comments saying they will forever support the company.

We understand not every business is able to give their product or service away for free or even at a discount. Instead, future proof your business by providing consumers with content that they can easily save and refer back to when it is time to make a purchase decision. Tracking metrics like amount of Instagram saves or repins, allows you to re engage with customers who have taken interest in your brand at a later time.

For more information on managing your brand during COVID-19, check out our latest infographic, How social distancing affects consumers’ relationships with brands.