Slowly but surely we’re accepting the new ‘normal’— in both work and private settings the usage of digital tools has increased tremendously. With that, we also see an increase in the use of social media, roughly 44% worldwide. Many divert to these channels as a social outlet, using them as mental support to keep spirits high and motivate each other to go on. In times like these, you can make peoples’ lives just that little bit easier by participating in the conversation. Now’s the time to show compassion for the people that follow your brand.
Most of us are familiar with placing a post or story but this is often widely used, most likely also by your competitor. With the time you have now, this is the perfect moment to experiment with different creative options to make your brand stand out from the crowd. Making your brand more popular among your target group. Or, functionally, you can give them brand crisis updates more often in a more entertaining form. With these five tools and platforms, I hope to inspire you to communicate directly with your followers in a more creative way.
The hourly number of livestream views grew in 2019 from 10,3 billion to 12,7 billion. That same year, it was also named one of the most popular trends in the Netherlands and its popularity continues to increase. It might be daunting at first but it’s a great way to directly connect with your target audience and answer any questions they might have during these times. Large social media channels have this option nowadays, like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and even LinkedIn. Before going live, prepare yourself as much as you would normally for a regular speaking opportunity. Rehearse properly, prepare Q&As, and make sure to check audio and video beforehand. Unlike a regular speaking opportunity, it’s easier for your audience to drift off so keep your session short and sweet and make sure you engage visually with your viewers during your live session as much as possible. Basic Fit now makes extensive use of this Instagram tool and holds daily live training sessions for all of Europe. Currently it is also widely used on Yammer to keep colleagues informed of the latest developments.
What about TikTok?
By now, you will have heard about this increasingly popular social platform, but I bet you’re not on it yet. For lots of brands this makes sense, as the average user is still in their teens, but with the corona crisis happening, we see the user numbers increasing. For a large part, this is thanks to millennials joining the platform as the influencers they follow on Instagram and YouTube are all trying the platform out and where they go, their audience goes. This video platform, which offers short content of up to 15 seconds, is an airy outlet in these difficult times. However, don’t be mistaken about the social impact that it has. Together with the WHO, TikTok has set up a special page that informs youngsters about the virus. As a brand, you can create your own page, introduce branded hashtags or get creators to do a branded challenge.
Bring your brand into the living room with AR
AR is the technology behind those popular dog and rainbow filters we know from Instagram and Snapchat. But did you know you can also make these filters branded? Bring your brand into people’s living rooms digitally and perhaps teach them a thing or two about social distancing along the way. If you’re not convinced about the face filters, look into augmented reality instead. You can change ordinary living room furniture into branded magic or get your brand’s mascot to dance on your audience’s ceiling – as Google now does with animals and planets.
Get glorious with GIFs
Get creative and make some branded GIFs! They’re ideal for both Instagram (stories) and Facebook (polls). During these times, you can playfully showcase your added value by creating GIFs that explain social distancing, how to properly wash your hands, or anything else your brand believes in right now. Be aware that these GIFs take only a couple of seconds, so your message has to be strong and simple.
Haven’t found the right time to experiment with IGTV yet? This is your moment. Now that the time people spend on social media is increasing, longer content is also more welcome. If you have video content that needs more time and space than the 15 seconds of a story, try this Insta channel instead. This vertical video platform offers the possibility to shoot content for up to 10 minutes (and for very large channels even 60 minutes). The BBC uses the platform a lot to share short, more in-depth and personal stories around the current crisis. With the extra time you have, this is the perfect opportunity to finally introduce the format that you hadn’t gotten around to yet. Think of explaining how equipment works, recipe videos or other things that benefit everyone who’s now at home.
As the world becomes more and more digital every day, we’re also seeing an increase in the use of social media. The social media channels I’ve mentioned have a huge reach, so you can properly appeal to your target group. These platforms are continuously improving themselves (think of Instagram recently launching co-watching) so it’s important to cultivate with them. These tips will help you take your social presence to the next level— but keep in mind that quality is key, more so than quantity. If the idea you have doesn’t fully fit the tool or format, don’t do it and stick to what you know. Questions? Or would you like to spar over ideas? Please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Photo by Jack Sparrow from Pexels.