2020 has been the year of change. COVID-19 threw countless people, places and industries a curveball this year — just ask our president Lisa Arledge Powell. Layer on nationwide protests, murder hornets and 14% unemployment and you have the perfect recipe for disruption.
As you likely noticed, social media was not immune to the effects of this year’s events. In fact, the social space was likely more impacted by these events than any other medium. So what does your brand need to know to stay relevant on social media? Below are a few of the biggest changes to keep in mind as your brand creates social content in 2020.
Understanding social conversations has always been important, and the pandemic has continued to highlight the significance of this social media skill set. To ensure your brand’s posts are timely (and not tone deaf!) it’s critical to frequently take the pulse of the social space. Not only will this uncover strategic brand opportunities, but it can also inform your responses to customers, content developers and overall marketing strategy.
At MediaSource, our team starts every day with a social media briefing that provides an overview of trending conversations. This has been critical for our team to understand the constantly shifting coronavirus landscape. If this is something you’re interested in implementing, some great programs to consider include Buzzsumo, Sprout Social and Hubspot.
The past few months have been tumultuous. What’s driving conversations in the morning is old news by noon. Luckily, there’s a golden rule that can keep brands safe on social during these unique times: “Better safe than sorry.”
With a constant barrage of breaking news, it’s impossible to say what will happen in a month — let alone next week. That means it’s not the time to make bold claims or jump on trends before you really understand them. When it comes to planning social content, be cautious about what you’re posting and why. Take a moment to question if it could be tone-deaf amid your current news cycle. And, most importantly, keep an eye on headlines throughout the day so you can press pause on scheduled posts at a moment’s notice.
Make it Timely
We’re all adjusting to a new normal, and that means your social strategy should too. Now is the time to rewrite messaging so it resonates with the times. This could mean dropping any content (even if it’s really, really cool) that points to events, experiences or ideas that aren’t relevant anymore.
It can also mean adjusting imagery to reflect social distancing or revamping your content calendar. For example, our clients at TechOhio shifted their entire content calendar to cover startups on the front lines of the pandemic response. This kept posts timely while allowing engagement to grow — not slow — through the onset of social distancing.
Prepare for Change
Amid all of this uncertainty, one thing is for sure: social media will never be the same. From new laws to new platforms, this space is being remodeled to meet the needs of the times. For example, TikTok has clearly established itself as a major social network. With countless Americans stuck at home, the video app saw accelerated adoption. Brands like Gymshark, Chipotle and BMW are beginning to take notice and explore ways they can take advantage of this platform.
Larger changes have taken place as well — including Twitter placing content labels on the president’s Tweets, Facebook employees staging a protest and the president signing an executive order to weaken the power of social media corporations. We expect these events to have long-term ramifications.
Of course, not all change is bad. With each new obstacle comes a new opportunity — meaning all of this could be good news for your brand if you’re paying attention and thinking ahead.
For more information or if you’d like to chat with the MediaSource team, drop us a line on our contact page.