Social media usage has increased tremendously in the last few months since people are indoors and have nowhere to go. The pandemic has given rise to several social media trends and brands are constantly trying to connect with their audience base with the help of social media marketing. But the pandemic has also increased challenges for social media marketers. With less purchasing power in the hands of the consumers, brands have to come up with effective social media marketing strategies that generate a need for their products and services.
Brand marketing already had its major shift with influencer marketing but with the pandemic, all aspects of social media marketing are witnessing a transformation. This is happening because of the change in the user behaviour, change in the content consumption, feature updates on social media platforms, and demand for authentic content.
Social media marketing in COVID revolved around building a consumer-brand relationship. This meant more informational content on brand pages and less of flashy promotions. Brands have already crossed the COVID stage and are now struggling with plans for social media marketing post-COVID.
Creating a social media strategy in the current situation is not the same as it was before because the tonality of the content and the way it is presented needs to be changed. Additionally, the results of the campaigns are also not as predictable as they were before.
While some brands are struggling with marketing on social media, some have gained mileage with their social media marketing strategies. In this blog, we will explore the social media marketing challenges faced by brands in the times of pandemic.
10 Social Media Marketing Challenges Faced By Brands In The Pandemic
1. Unpredictable audience sentiment
Every social media marketing campaign is planned keeping in mind the audience behaviour. The main aim of a strategy is to connect with the audiences. However, the pandemic has transformed how people consume content on social media and what they are looking for. Social media strategies are no longer aimed at promoting products and services instead they are informational. Moreover, people have become more sensitive towards what brands are posting in these tough times. This means brands need to be more careful about their content and need to post only what’s significant. This also creates a hindrance in measuring the campaign performance.
2. Sudden shift of focus on social responsibility
Using social media for marketing involves more than just displaying products and services. The pandemic has changed the purpose of social media marketing. Both brands and audiences are now interested in showcasing their efforts for the society in these difficult times. Brands made sure to let their followers know how they are helping people during COVID. This not only generates brand sentiment but also gives the audience another reason to associate and interact with your brand on social media.
3. The need to focus on services that are useful
Social media marketing strategies need to be creative but the emphasis now has to be on the services that are useful to the people in the pandemic. Brands are constantly reaching out to their fans on social media platforms to let them know how they are providing services that will ease purchasing hassles. Brands are highlighting their hygiene standards and showcasing how their employees are taking precautions to avoid the spread of the virus. This shift in focus has forced brands to rethink their social media content strategy.
4. Content overcrowd
Social media remains the most effective way of reaching out to potential consumer base and that is why most platforms are experiencing a rush of content. The audiences have a lot to choose from but that can be both good and bad. The overcrowding of content has caused a serious dip in the organic reach which is a matter of concern for many brands. Additionally, the changes in the platform algorithm make it all the more tough. Having a social media strategy with high-quality content is the only way to solve this hassle.
5. Producing more of video content
Almost all social media platforms are coming up with feature updates that are video-related. As compared to images and text, videos need more production time and planning. Additionally, there are brands that would stick to images and text! With the upgrades and inclination towards video content, brands have had to rework their social media marketing strategies that incorporate this shift in preference. With Instagram Reels and live streaming, brands can longer avoid video content.
6. Creating a social media strategy that is in sync with the new normal
Influencers and brands need to reframe their social media marketing strategies as per the new norms. Be it showcasing social distancing norms in the content or simply displaying the importance of staying at home, brands and influencers have to be careful of what they are posting. For instance, if a brand influencer is prompting a travel brand, he/she must encourage the importance of wearing masks outdoors! Not paying attention to these norms can lead to negative brand publicity and criticism.
7. Keeping up with the constantly changing social media trends
Users are highly active on social media and this gives rise to several different trends. Brands need to keep up with the changing trends at all times to stay relevant. This involves everything from content style to hashtags. Additionally, every social media platform has a different audience base and creating content on the lines of what’s trending is a challenge for several brands. Moreover, the shelflife of trends is short-lived which means social media marketers need to act fast every time!
8. The consistent need to connect with the followers
Building a rapport with your audience is the most important thing currently. Brands often fail to keep up with the response and this creates problems with audience retention. In the pandemic, users have become more interactive on brand posts and this means brands need to acknowledge their responses. Be it a comment or a DM, make sure you pay attention to their responses. In many cases, brands have lost on a potential customer simply because they were unresponsive to their doubts and questions. Keeping a track of what your audience is saying about you should be an inevitable part of your social media marketing plan.
9. Inability to create effective social media marketing strategies for different platforms
It’s high time brands must realise that repacking content across platforms no longer works. It is essential that brand marketers create social media strategies platform-wise. This will make a huge difference in your strategy performance. The main reason why brands need to do this is that every platform has a different audience behaviour and their purpose to be on that platform needs to be considered.
10. Failing to implement authentically positive strategies
Brands are putting a lot of thought in implementing the right social media strategies but when it comes to being authentic only a few pass the test. If you are too promotional and your content is not authentic enough, it is easy for the audience to just scroll through. To make them stop and interact with your content, it is necessary to be authentically positive. Along with being informational, brands need to present a ray of hope to their audiences. This has to be done authentically. Announce giveaways, show them you are back in the business, tell your audience how your employees are coping with the pandemic, etc. to make them want to associate with your brand.
Social media marketing challenges of 2020 are tricky to tackle because no one is sure of the outcome! Along with coming up with effective strategies, it is also essential to measure those strategies and industry competitors. This is where brands need to rely on a professional tool like Unbox Social.
Even with the tremendous increase in the importance of social media, brands are still not full-proof when it comes to social media analysis. Unbox Social offers solutions like social media analytics, competition tracking, and influencer marketing that can help brands frame and measure social media strategies effectively.
Social media and marketing cannot be separated but brands need to upgrade their strategies to stay in the game. While social media remains the only way to connect with the target audience, it is also necessary to come with valuable content to get the desired results.
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