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The COVID-19 Effect on Social Media Marketing


COVID-19 has not only affected the daily routine of people and the economy of the world’s most powerful nations, but it has also had a tremendous impact on social media. Marketers have had to go to great lengths to find the right ways to do their jobs.

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There have been numerous changes and obstacles. And now, social media marketers must adapt to tighter budgeting allocations and modify their strategies to suit an audience full of customers who have experienced a lockdown. Nevertheless, not everything is negative.

Social Network Time Increased

By working more from home, people have spent long periods of time on their phones, and checking social media more often. Due to restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus, people did not go to their place of business or meet family or friends. Therefore, they turned to technology for connection.

Platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, became even more popular in many ways. Also, studies showed that the use of social media platforms will continue to a similar degree in the near future, even after the pandemic.

Marketers can take advantage of this behavior and provide valuable content with a social approach that allows people to find what they are looking for and spend more time online connected with brands and companies. This is quite an interesting twist on the usual plans.

Social Media Advertising

Advertising on social media was positively impacted by the pandemic. In addition to having great influencers promoting products and services, authority and emerging companies began to use platform ads more strongly. Although many initially canceled their marketing campaigns, the ads got back on track and achieved surprising data. According to Mobile Marketer, engagement with mobile ads grew 15 percent.

The question of a social media ROI has existed since the first days of social media itself. Marketers always want to know what return is possible for advertising to a large audience on Twitter versus a TikTok audience.

In 2021, that race will continue to hit new heights as marketers will use a broader set of social media ads to connect products and services to customers. New purchase methods within posts, stories, and live streams mean customers can act on a buy now message with greater ease than ever before. The stay-at-home behavior that rose during the COVID-19 pandemic bolsters this environment. According to a Hootsuite survey, 73 percent of respondents indicated that increased acquisition of new customers is the most important social media goal for 2021.

The Popularity of Influencers

During the lockdown, there was also an increase in social media users’ connections with influencers. Users began to interact with the most famous people’s content on social media. Marketers also had to change some of their tactics to include influencers in their campaigns or create similar content to make users connect with the brand or company they work for.

The Online Shopping Explosion

Another aspect that revolutionized digital marketing was online shopping. Shoppers started purchasing their items from online stores, as many brick-and-mortar locations were forced to close. Different social media platforms have adapted their interface to connect brands and company accounts to their commercial websites. Marketers who have taken advantage of these tools have achieved conversion rates never seen before.

Goodwill and Purpose-Driven Missions From Brands

A 2021 Hootsuite Social Trends report noted that the smartest brands will understand where they fit into customers’ lives on social media, and they will find creative ways of fitting into the conversation.

At the core of this is the need for transparency. It is impossible for consumers to connect with brands that they see as insincere or not able to get more information about a product’s ingredients and formulation. Why would they want to invest in something that they cannot trust or do not believe in? This is why connection will be pivotal for brands that want to remain trusted sources in 2021.

Now more than ever, brands are having to dig deep to find ways to flourish in turbulent times. A report from Deloitte states that to do this, brands need to be deeply attuned to why they exist and who they are built to serve. We have all seen brands doing good things, but there will be an even bigger emphasis on this in 2021.

GoBig Energy, makers of energy shots, did just that. Rather than reinvent the wheel, they looked at where their market had shifted and found an opportunity to do some good and reach out to a new market. In March 2021, the company announced that they would be donating more than 10,000 units of their energy drink to hospital staff and other front-line medical personnel. That PR move can help a company gain a massive amount of positive attention and lead to greater sales opportunities.

Personal vitamin startup Care/Of offers unique personalized vitamin sets for their customers, built their company to individually help every customer take care of their body, and the company’s innovative packaging made a point of trying to help customers care for their minds and their souls with fun activities, challenges, and to-dos to bring adventure and wellness into each day. As the COVID-19 crisis took off, the company quickly ramped up its personal wellness messaging to encompass not just physical well-being but mental well-being, too. The message went out across their social platforms in a coordinated campaign—we can help you physically, but we can also help you cope—here is how. With great design and consistent messaging day after day on Instagram, the brand saw its followers increase even as other supplement companies were struggling.

What Does It All Mean

COVID-19 changed the way people view, understand, and use the internet. Therefore, the importance of social media marketing has increased, and marketers are working hard to take advantage of all the benefits that it brings.