Best Practices for Social Media Management in the New Normal
PropelrrJanuary 3, 2023
The impact social media has during the pandemic will sustain and strengthen as we move forward into the new normal.
The “new normal” isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a fact of life. People are now transitioning to a lifestyle that relies heavily on the Internet.
At the very center of that lifestyle is social media. In lieu of traditional news sources, social media sites are among the first places people go to to get the latest news. Of course, new video call and productivity apps have made it easier to do work and conduct meetings from home.
It’s safe to say that the world has not only embraced social media, but has started to depend on it ever so slightly. Businesses are taking advantage of the increasing amount of time people stay glued to their screens.
With more and more people living online, the landscape of social media use has changed. It is now also a place where businesses come to thrive. Online advertising and sponsored posts make the daily rounds of many websites, from Facebook, to Twitter, to YouTube.
The “new normal” is a place where people spend their days online, but filter much of the content they consume. So understanding social media and its impact can be a big factor to the success of your business, and we’ve got the social media management tips you need to know for the new normal.
The impact of social media
Facebook and X were the heavy hitters of social media before the pandemic began. Behavior online was markedly different from today, however. In 2019, before COVID-19 hit, eMarketer projected social media use for 2020 to increase by an average of six seconds.
In reality, the average user in 2020 spent 82 minutes on social media, a steep 7-minute increase from the previous year.
During the pandemic
Social media use rose to an unprecedented height during the pandemic. Users spent more time on social media doing research on brands rather than visiting a search engine. As a result, ad spending online had more than doubled since the first COVID outbreak.
Being forced away from their loved ones, people resorted to keeping in touch through various mediums such as Facebook. TikTok was then a new website where people would consume content in the midst of yet another stressful day under community quarantines.
Meanwhile, Twitter was king when it came to gathering new developments on COVID-19. Historic events were also heavily documented online through the platform.
Notably, Zoom has been one of the new normal’s biggest hits. Almost everyone you know has signed up for it, and for other social media sites as well during the pandemic.
In the midst of it all, however, were very serious discussions on misinformation in the online era. On one side, there were people earnestly proclaiming the very real threat of COVID; on the other, people who denied the existence of the disease itself.
The “new normal”
It has been three years since the outbreak of COVID-19. By this time, the average user spends 2.5 hours daily on social media. However, people aren’t staying online for long. This may be due to companies transitioning back to pre-COVID working conditions, or schools opting for face-to-face classes once more.
Businesses have started taking advantage of this opportunity. Statista reports an $80 billion growth on digital advertising spend from 2021 to 2022. It is estimated that companies will spend $876.1 billion on online advertising by 2026.
At the same time, people are simply too tired for social media. Disinformation has arguably brought the most fatigue to users. That, and probably reading about the survivor’s guilt of living through COVID while others have not.
Social media in the new normal
The way social media is used today is centered primarily on getting information. But with a disinformation plague affecting platforms, users have become wary and skeptical of many things they find online.
What’s more, is that attention on platforms is slipping not only because of the plague but also because of activity resuming in the offline world. Suffering from cabin fever for the length of the pandemic restrictions, audiences are now eager to disconnect from the internet and engage in person.
How then can you leverage social media management and marketing for maintaining and improving your social media presence?
Social media management tips for the new normal
With every change that hits us comes an opportunity to take an important step backward. One that you should use for assessing the playing field and deciding your next courses of action.
In the new normal, you’ll find the tips below important in maintaining and growing your social media presence as a brand.
1. Study social media trends.
Trends in how consumers interact online are potent catalysts for change in online marketing. Given how much has changed with the onslaught of the pandemic, interactions in social media have put on a new face.
That’s why it’s important to constantly stay in touch with social media trends. The tides of change can easily render your previous ones useless, and changes happen faster than you can blink.
Study trends in your vertical, in the social landscape, as well as in your own business. How have interactions on these platforms changed? What can you do to adapt to these changes?
2. Make a social media plan.
Your next step is to craft your plan which should be properly informed by the study on trends you did prior.
Like any other marketing endeavor, you need a plan for social media. Most importantly, decide who your target audience is. Then, learn everything you can about them. What issues do they care about? How do they talk online? And in what form does the information they engage with come?
Knowing the answers to those questions will not just help you plan your content, but will also help you in defining which social platforms are best for your business
ADDITIONAL READING: A Guide to Choosing the Best Social Media to Drive Traffic
3. Use social media tools to help you manage your accounts.
Agility is critical in our online spaces today. Hence, speed and consistency are key traits shared by businesses that market online.
In social media, using tools for ideating, creating, and publishing content is vital to that.
Artificial intelligence (AI) machines, such as ChatGPT, can help you accelerate ideation and content creation. You can even use chatbots to help your customer service department in answering queries. Leverage scheduling tools to work efficiently and publish in an organized and consistent way. In any case, there is bound to be a marketing tool that helps you improve your service.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: 35 Best Social Media Marketing Tools You Can Use Today
Lastly, make sure to use analytics to gather data on your efforts. The businesses that will survive beyond the new normal will be determined by how fast and accurately they can act on the data they are presented with.
4. Promote diversity, equality, and inclusion in your next campaign.
Diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) are the latest trends when it comes to social media marketing. That means your product or service must make everyone feel included, regardless of sex, gender orientation, age, race, social economic status, and disability.
And you shouldn’t limit DEI to just lip service or some pretty pictures on the ‘net, either. Your brand has to create a culture that genuinely supports and actively promotes DEI rather than just passively showing it. Instead, make sure your product’s “invite” is received by everyone.
That said, some consumers might not receive the invite as initially expected. Instead, you can have closed captions for your video content, or you can optimize your channels with voice options such as voice searches or text-to-speech bots.
5. Cross-platform promotion.
Don’t limit yourself to just Facebook or Twitter. Go explore what content works best on TikTok, for example, and show your product off there. A study has reported that in 2014, each person had an average of 4.8 social media accounts. Six years later, that number has almost doubled to 8.4.
Not only will you be able to reach your target audience quicker and more effectively, you’ll also secure better customer engagement.
6. Partner with influencers.
You may even want to consider employing influencers to your marketing campaign. Because of their naturally wide reach, they can secure both frequent buyers and user-generated content relating to your product. Plus, influencers also have their own cross-platform content, which makes your job a bit easier.
Most marketers are transitioning to influencer marketing to help their campaigns, and with good reason. The ROI for influencer marketing is up to 11 times higher than traditional online marketing methods.
7. Promote real and refreshing content.
Because of the three years mostly spent at home, people are feeling cabin fever. And they’re naturally stressed out. Moreover, misinformation has seen a sharp increase since the start of the pandemic.
That means your content should not distort facts. Users have become more discerning about the content that they view. Delivering false information to your audience could mean disaster.
Nor should your content take a lot of mental space. Use refreshing colors to ease your audience’s eyes and mind. Consider creating snackable content to drive readers to your pages. Don’t make your audience feel uncomfortable just by watching your product.
8. Back your online presence up with offline activities.
Naturally, your online presence is only limited. It can also be detrimental if you only have online content. Make sure you also have snaps of on-the-ground activity, if you have any.
For example, if you’re leaning heavily on DEI as a marketing strategy, do charity events for the less privileged. A survey has said that 70% of Millennials are more likely to engage with brands knowing that a share of the proceeds will be donated to charity.
You may also consider promoting your physical shop through your social media channels.
9. Be consistent with your messaging.
As disinformation continues to muddle online conversations, consistency is becoming more important in helping prevent confusion among online audiences.
Whenever and wherever you communicate online, it’s best to keep your message consistent. Trust is built on consistency and the more someone trusts you, the likelier they are to give you business. That also includes hiring onscreen personalities who you plan on making the face of your next campaign. Screen their content before you give the go signal.
10. Respond to comments and messages promptly.
Promptness and responsiveness are also key learnings underscored in the new normal.
Delays in getting feedback or facilitating transactions lead to a loss of interest in your customers. Hence, you also lose engagements that could have also helped you boost brand awareness and conversions.
Whenever marketing on social platforms, make sure you respond to concerns sent through comments and/or messages in a prompt manner. This will foster trust and establish that you are a reliable brand to be doing business with.
To help in this, you can explore new technologies such as programmed responses or chatbots.
A note on Gen Z and social media
Gen Z is the first generation to grow up with social media and they use it in different ways than older generations.
For Gen Z, social media is a way to stay connected with friends and family, and they use it to get information about the world around them. They also use social media for entertainment and to find out about new products and services. In fact, a recent study has reported that more than half of Gen Z spend four or more hours online everyday. They wield serious purchasing power, to boot. In contrast, only 18% of adults stay online for that same length of time.
Gen Z is also more likely to trust social media than older generations. They are more likely to believe what they see on social media, which makes it important for brands to have a strong social media presence if they want to reach this generation.
Brands should create content that is relevant to Gen Z and that appeals to their interests. They should also make sure that their social media accounts are engaging and interactive so that Gen Z followers will want to stay connected. For example, Gen Z in particular are more supportive of campaigns that promote DEI than previous generations.
Their exposure to the Internet at a young age means that they have seen a lot of social injustice, especially in terms of racial and gender issues. This leads them to want to be catalysts for a better world for themselves and for others. As a result, they tend to support companies that promote diversity and inclusion.
If you are targeting the next generation of consumers, don’t forget to include TikTok as one of your business’ platforms. A study has found that Gen Z audiences flock to TikTok the most. Gen Z typically spends at least 24 hours per month on the platform.
Social media, though it has its pitfalls, still remains a pillar for online communications. Whenever there are changes in society, you can count on these changes to be felt the most on social media platforms.
For brands to continue remaining relevant, it’s important to follow the tips above and be mindful of these:
- Meet audiences where they’re at. The responsibility of adjusting to your audiences always falls on you, the brand. Stay in touch with the platforms they constantly engage in so that you can continue communicating on platforms relevant to your audience.
- Emotional resonance is key to fostering relationships that extend beyond one-time transactions. When you communicate empathically, users trust you more and will find a value that is anchored on more than how your products and services meet their needs.
- Be organized. Social media efforts can easily get mismanaged because of the numerous factors you need to consider. To maintain consistency and effectiveness of efforts, you need to stay organized – leverage technologies to help you in this.
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