Social by FORCE: How COVID-19 is Changing Social Media for the Better
By now, we are all missing life as we knew it.
The things that we took for granted, like eating in a restaurant or going to the grocery store for toilet paper, can now be a health risk for us. (In some cases, trying to BUY toilet paper can put our lives at risk.)
Probably the most noticeable change has been the way that we connect. Remember the good old days when you could put the phone down and leave it, yet still connect with others? Now, social media is one of the only ways we have to connect to others. We went from going to the Greensboro Coliseum for concerts to stopping by Instagram for star-studded quarantine parties (Y’all, I virtually partied with Ellen DeGeneres, Michelle Obama and Bobby Brown!). Quite frankly, social media IS our human connection.
While we are turning to digital to retain some normalcy, these strange days aren’t all gloom and doom. Now is a great time for new content from content producers and brands. They and the rest of us need to be thinking like the creative human beings we are.
brands should be looking for ways they can offer help to their local and global communities
In quarantined times, it seems likely that video production and consumption will soar
(there’s a reason your home Wi-Fi seems so slow). People are looking for distractions and are likely to go deeper than a quick scroll when content is engaging, uplifting or particularly helpful.
For companies that produce consumer packaged goods, now might be a good time to get their products into the hands of influencers. Those trendsetters will be looking for new content for their videos. Or large retailers could develop creative ways to have online shopping parties, much like my virtual parties with Michelle, Ellen and Bobby.
More importantly, and more effectively, brands should be looking for ways they can offer help to their local and global communities. People want to support their neighbors, our medical providers, the people who are working around the clock to keep shelves stocked in stores … if you are a human with a heart, then you should be incorporating that heart that into your social strategy.
If you’re not sure what to say, you’re not alone. But these three topics are likely a safe bet:
- Product or service reviews: Did you just get a great takeout meal from a local restaurant? Tell people about it. Did you use a videoconferencing service that was unusually effective? Share it. Seriously. Give kudos to the people who are making your work life easier. Spread those good vibes around and make sure that you tag the service or business.
- Entertainment / educational content: How-to videos about your product, something funny you can share with clients about how “essential” your business actually is, asking your co-workers to split screen chat in their out-of-office wear and sharing that video with your clients … now’s the time to be real.
- Positive and encouraging messaging: If there’s ever been a time for memes in your marketing, this is it. Better yet, make your own and share on your social media pages for a quick ray of happy.
Doing the right thing – and for the right reason – got the attention of local and social media
Here’s an example of positive messaging. One of our local distillers turned the byproduct of their manufacturing process into hand sanitizer, then gave it away to people in need. Doing the right thing – and for the right reason – got the attention of local and social media. Spreading the word helped get other distillers involved and was a piece of news that made us feel hopeful, at least for a minute.
Here at Vela, we’re focusing our social media attention on a healthy blend of content that’s balanced with happy news. We’ve even crowned a Czar of Good News (resume builder) to spread some positivity in these uncertain times.
Getting work done now involves a bit more imagination than a few weeks ago. So does creating content that is relevant and helpful. And really, that’s a good thing. As we’re learning how to best use tools (hello, Microsoft Teams!), we’re also identifying ways to connect with our clients.
And as we’re checking in with each other regularly, we’re learning more about the members of our team and meeting each other’s pets, at least virtually. We’ve also been able to focus on a long-overdue redesign of the Vela website (details to come soon).
Our (virtual) doors are still open and we’re here to help you weather these uncertain times. Contact us today to discuss how your organization can best use social media and other tools to stay connected to your audience.