How Brands Can Leverage Social Media During COVID-19

by May Media Group

It’s no surprise that during the COVID-19 outbreak, both internet and social media usage saw a major increase across the board. With millions of people stuck inside and millions more out of a job, many turned to their smartphones and digital devices to occupy their time. In fact, during the first quarter of 2020, the global average of broadband consumption increased by 47% according to an OpenVault Broadband Insights Report. Between using social media, video streaming, online gaming, virtual learning, and working from home, the internet has become the place for people to connect professionally and personally. 

During this time, Facebook’s daily web traffic increased by 27% and TikTok saw an explosion of 113.4 million new unique visitors in the United States from January through April. With over one billion active users, Instagram continues to be one of the most active social media platforms, next to Facebook and Twitter. Edison Research released a study in 2019 that showed 53% of U.S. moms on social media use Instagram while over 81% use Facebook. This study found that 58% of moms on social media said Facebook is the platform they turn to first for product recommendations. While many social platforms are popular among moms, Facebook continues to be the top platform they turn to.

Stay Positive  

The news cycle during 2020 has been particularly negative and tumultuous, leaving many internet users searching for an escape. Maintaining positive social media messages offers followers a place where they can let down their guard. Brands should find ways to create and strengthen communities through dedicated branded groups and niche communities. Creating comforting content makes people feel like they aren’t alone in their struggles, and that content is easier for them to connect with. This doesn’t mean you need to ignore the current situation, but you can be a positive presence for people who need it.

In fact, our Moms Meet Mom Lab video series recently took on the topic of virtual learning in a playful way to educate on Sambucol Black Elderberry Gummies. This humorous video garnered over 250,000 total social media and YouTube impressions with more than 26,000 views and 500 unique comments, likes, shares, and clicks across our platforms in just 5 days.

“Ew, Germs!! Our Kids Learn About Germs in Virtual Class”, Mom Lab Video featuring Sambucol Black Elderberry Gummies

Be Authentic 

Users want to see the raw, authentic human beings behind the brands. Sharing stories about relatable topics, such as quarantine baking and work-from-home experiences, is a great way to bond with your audience. A huge turn-off especially for many younger social media users is when brands and companies come off as faceless entities with no personality. Consider sharing images of customers with their reviews, team photos, or behind-the-scenes content that allows your followers to learn more about your brand and products without it being in a sales pitch.

Being authentic creates stronger relationships with consumers and makes them feel better about the brands they are interacting with. A study from Global PR firm Cohn & Wolfe about the authenticity of large corporations found that 91% of consumers are willing to reward a brand for its authenticity with a purchase, endorsement, or other action.

Our Facebook Live events provide a live format with unedited content that gives our audience a chance to interact directly with CEOs, doctors, and company founders. A recent event with Functional Remedies Synchronicity garnered over 250,600 total social media and YouTube impressions with almost 3,000 unique comments, likes, shares, and clicks across our platforms. During the event, we shared a unique promotional code only available to those who watched the video. Over the next five days, their code generated thousands of dollars in sales, exceeding the brand’s expectations.

“At-Home Stress Relief Tips and Tricks” Facebook Live with Functional Remedies

Encourage Creativity

Over the course of the last four months, YouTube has tracked a massive increase in the number of users consuming video content about sourdough bread, home workouts, yoga, museum tours, video call make-up tips, and how-to videos. With an abundance of time on their hands, particularly during the first wave of the pandemic, people looked for ways to become more creative. In a study by Lightricks, over 90% of participants who consisted of social media “creators” said they use creativity apps to deal with boredom. 

By inviting followers to learn new skills or posting relevant brand content that asks them to participate in something, companies can introduce new audiences to their products. Through demonstrations and interactive live streams, brands can start conversations and encourage users to purchase their products to try for themselves. User generated content has been shown to appear more trustworthy than in-house content, generating more leads and purchases.

Moms love to hear from other moms, especially when it comes to suggesting new products or sharing their genuine feedback about a brand. Our post sharing our Mom Ambassadors’ reviews of Barlean’s garnered over 7,000 impressions and more than 500 unique comments, likes, shares, and clicks across our social media platforms. Not only did this spark positive feedback from our audience, but it also put Barlean’s top-of-mind for moms looking to purchase CBD products.

Overall, brands need to stay connected with their followers through social media during this time. With an uncertain future ahead, being a positive, authentic brand in tune with your consumers needs and wants will help your business navigate through this new normal.

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