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Social Media Marketing During COVID-19: Everything Brands Must Do And Know

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The pandemic has not only impacted our mental and physical wellbeing but has also changed the dynamics of social media. With businesses facing unknown challenges, there has been a shift in the way brands are connecting with the audiences. Social distancing rules have further impacted how people shop for things. 

The dependence on social media has increased because of the limited outings and the ease with which one can order things from the platforms and know about new brands and trends. Social media marketing is the crux of social media and brands are struggling to make a mark on their handles.

The competition between brands is no longer restricted to the number of likes and comments received, now it is all about making a strong presence on social media platforms with the help of engaging content. 

Even in the time of crisis, brands have managed to drive sales thanks to their social media marketing strategies. Every social media campaign initially focused on generating awareness about social distancing and this slowly transformed when the businesses started operating again with the limited workforce. 

Brands now have to be more careful about what they post on their social media handles because the intent of the message can either attract users or drive them away. This is where influencer marketing dominates. 

While some brands are struggling with their influencer strategy some have gained a lot. Let’s dissect how marketing on social media has worked for brands in the time of COVID-19.

1. MAC Cosmetics India

Mac Cosmetics

With masks covering the face all the time, the industry that suffered the most during the pandemic is the makeup industry. MAC is one of the most renowned cosmetics brands globally and is highly active on social media. Initially, the brand used to post at decent intervals but since the lockdown, it has increased its social media activities tenfold. 

MAC is unbeatable on Instagram thanks to its captivating influencer marketing strategy and social media campaign. The brand hosts back to back makeup sessions on its Instagram page which targets both beginners and intermediate makeup users. 

Instead of only targeting individuals who are already interested in makeup, the brand creates content for people who are new to makeup and want to learn from scratch. This not only markets their products but also makes them a trendsetter in many ways. 


  • To create informative content to gain maximum exposure
  • To get people interested in makeup thereby increasing their sales
  • To generate a need for MAC products through video content
  • To make the brand more approachable
  • To highlight the USP of MAC products and getting an edge over competitors


  • Makes people believe MAC products are now easily accessible (Initially, only    highly professional makeup artists had access to MAC products)
  • Individuals can better relate to the product because of the helpful tutorials and are ready to make these products a part of their makeup routine
  • Increased credibility because the products are recommended by makeup experts on their social media handles

What other brands can learn-

Informative content that has something for the audience works the best when it comes to increasing user engagement on social media. This social media strategy can help in increasing sales. Highlighting the usability of the product increases its demand in the minds of consumers. 

2. Starbucks


The famous coffeehouse giant Starbucks like several other industries suffered a blow when its cafes were closed globally because of the pandemic. However, this did not stop them from creating a social media strategy that works. The brand has been extremely active on social media since the lockdown and has highlighted even the tiniest update of its products. 

This has prepared the brand for the post-COVID phase where people are now venturing out for takeaways. Starbucks’ social media marketing strategy has always aimed at building a strong relationship with their customers. The social media pages of the brand are filled with content that triggers emotions or generates a want. 

During the pandemic, the brand has been extremely active in coming up with new beverages and has promoted them in creative ways on their social media handles. This not only created a desire for their beverages but also created a sense of belonging in the minds of its target audience that made it the go-to brand for the post-pandemic times as well. 


  • To stay in the minds of the audience as the brand they can trust and rely on
  • To create awareness about their upcoming products
  • To create a sense of desire for their products through enticing content
  • To create a loyal customer base through social media 


  • Higher engagement level because of creative posts
  • Increased brand awareness with the help of effective social media marketing campaign
  • To create a community of Starbucks loyalists with an engaging social media marketing plan

What other brands can learn-

Creating a social media strategy that appeals to human emotions and image-oriented content that generates a response from the audience works. Frame a social marketing plan that highlights what new your brand has to offer. 

3. Netflix India

Netflix India

The lockdown has increased content consumption dramatically and that has put pressure on brands to be more active on social media. Netflix India is not just popular for its content but is also known for its engaging posts on social media. The brand also ropes in brand influencers time and again to make the audience aware of what’s new on their platform. Even during the lockdown phase, Netflix India managed to keep the audience hooked all thanks to their sharable content on social media. 

The OTT platform is extremely famous with the Millenials and frames social media marketing campaigns that connect with them. Right from upcoming shows to giving the audience a throwback of their past content in the form of witty posts, the brand does a lot to create shareable content. 

This kind of content witnesses a high engagement level because it entertains. The lockdown has increased the need for content that’s both informative and entertaining and Netflix India banks on it heavily. 


  • To get more subscribers on their OTT platform
  • To connect with passive audiences 
  • To make Netflix an inevitable part of one’s everyday life
  • To make Netflix an accessible platform in every home with the mobile subscription format
  • Generating curiosity about new content on the platform through social media 


  • Increase in content consumption because of the lockdown
  • Netflix shows became a part of everyday conversions leading to more audience
  • Increased engagement on social media thanks to the wit and humour-filled posts
  • More prominence to relatable images increased shareability of content
  • Increased subscriptions because of the FOMO created by effective social media content

What other brands can learn-

Netflix India never depends on hashtags on social media and still manages to gain amazing engagement which means overdoing the hashtag game will not help. Image-oriented content can be as engaging as videos and needs to be explored. 

Frame an influencer marketing plan that highlights why your brand is a necessity to enhance one’s everyday life! 

4. Airbnb


The travel industry has suffered a great setback because of the pandemic. The high risk involved in travelling has forced travel brands to come up with strong social media campaigns that keep them in the race and the minds of the audience. The attention span of the audience is very limited because with every scroll they are bombarded with new content. The homestay brand Airbnb has done a great job with its informative and engaging social media marketing.

The latest campaign by Airbnb Go Near is smartly planned to encourage domestic travel. The brand is all set for its post-COVID phase with this campaign. Promoting nearby getaways has also increased Airbnb’s sales. 

Airbnb’s social media marketing strategy has been about making travel safe and easier for all. The brand relies heavily on images to promote its homestays. Moreover, the brand has encouraged user-generated content which has worked in its favour.

Airbnb changed the face of their social media marketing strategy when they came up with the concept of online experiences. The objective behind online experiences is to give people access to unique activities from the comfort of their homes. 


  • To encourage people to start travelling again
  • To ensure that Airbnb homestays are safe for stays
  • To make people aware of the safety guidelines being followed by Airbnb homes
  • To give people a taste of outdoor experiences from the indoors
  • To encourage work from home from scenic homestays


  • High user engagement because of UGC
  • Domestic travel posts have led to an increase in the number of people willing to go for Airbnb homestays
  • Greater brand reliability because of posts dedicated to safety and health guidelines being followed in Airbnb homes
  • Individuals working from home now choose Airbnb homes for a change in routine even if travelling is out of question

What other brands can learn-

User-generated content works best on social media because it encourages users to interact with your brand. Structuring informative content like  ‘Online Experiences’ helps attract audiences from different demographics. Brands need to keep their target audience busy with their content because this can be beneficial for the post-COVID phase.

5. Nike


Nike is one brand that takes up social issues to connect with the audiences effortlessly. Instead of blindly promoting their products the brand focuses on inspiring people. Since the start of the pandemic, Nike has come up with back to back social media marketing strategies that have struck an emotional chord with the audience. 

From social distancing messages to encouraging people to be fit even in the new normal, the brand has framed highly effective social media marketing strategies. 

Roping in world-class sportsmen to spread their brand message across has helped them gain more popularity in the current phase. 

Additionally, the brand in its social media campaigns has constantly encouraged people to exercise at home. 

Nike has a strong brand presence on several social media platforms but the reason for its increasing popularity is its dedication to create a community of like-minded individuals who are ready to get inspired with the help of sports. 


  • To encourage home workouts in the lockdown
  • To post with a cause so that people can relate better with the brand ideology
  • To highlight the dedication of sports personalities to encourage the audience
  • To come up with interactive campaigns that unite like-minded people


  • High brand credibility due to the effective content strategy
  • Increased audience base on social media after roping in world-class sports personalities
  • Increased engagement because of participative social media campaigns and posts on social issues

What other brands can learn-

Every social media marketing campaign needs to have a high level of authenticity. Content that connects with the user base emotionally always works and should be implemented more than anything else. Brands collaborating with social media influencers must choose influencers carefully that are in sync with their brand guidelines and ideology because that impacts the kind of audience brands will attract. 

The above-mentioned social media marketing examples for the pandemic phase can help you frame effective strategies to reach your goals. The updates on the social media platforms have further increased the need to come up with engaging content. 

From Instagram Reels to YouTube Stories, every new update impacts the process of content creation and consumption. Brands relying on social media advertising need to consider these changing factors too.

There are several tools available that help you manage your social media presence. Tools like Unbox Social help you with influencer marketing, competition and social media analytics. These solutions can help you frame social media campaigns that are directed at the right audience. Moreover, analysing your social media performance with detailed reports will also help your brand improvise on the strategies. 

On the other hand, the competition tracking solution offered by the Unbox Social tool helps you gauge how your competitors are faring at their social media plans. 

The Unbox Social will also help you understand where your brand needs a push and what kind of content is fetching you the desired results. 

Want to know more about social media marketing? Read the blogs below. 


What is Unbox Social?

Unbox Social is a powerful tool that offers solutions for influencer search, social media analytics, and competition tracking. The platform helps you get in-depth social media performance data of your brands, campaigns, and competitors. Get detailed reports and implement the findings in your strategies to get the most out of your campaigns!

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Working with influencers?

Use our brand scan to find who competition works with!