Uncertainty is all we know right now. And, for many brands, that uncertainty has resulted in the belief that halting all marketing activity is the only way to go.

Over the past few weeks, fear has stopped marketers in their tracks. Where marketing calendars and budgets once were, there are now money saving exercises and endless internal Zoom meetings on how to manage the pandemic as a brand. But for those brave enough to press on, and even up their budget, there have been big rewards.

It’s understandable why many chose to stop and wait and see what happens instead of seizing the moment. This isn’t about capitalising on a worldwide pandemic. It’s about finding a new voice and adapting to new consumer behaviours and needs, more on that here. And, their needs are bigger than ever.

Stats, released this week by Kantar, have revealed what we all suspected: at-home media consumption is on the rise.

In fact, general social media engagement rates are up 61% overall with social media live stream consumption also up by 66%.

And that’s not all.

Unsurprisingly, video views and usage of online platforms such as YouTube and TikTok have seen a significant increase as many find new ways to fill their time at home.

And, in addition to this, usage data for individual social media channels also tell us that there’s been a 40% increase on Instagram (between 18-35 year olds) and a 37% increase on Facebook.

Those numbers are big. Too big for brands to ignore.

Mixed in with the drop of the cost of advertising, with many brands choosing to switch off, competition is much lower than usual, meaning there’s a bargain to be had for brands who are ready to get back out there.

So we know the audience online is bigger than ever and most likely crying out for fresh, engaging content, that isn’t full of the now eye-rolling inducing ‘we care, we’re all in this together’ stuff that had it’s place at the start of all this two months ago! And, we also know it’s cheaper than ever to advertise online.

You could say now is the time for brands to step back into the light and be brave.

Since the very beginning, we’ve been working with our clients, helping them to understand best practice at each stage as the pandemic unraveled. Working through the obstacle course that is marketing during a pandemic. It’s scary and it’s unknown. But, by listening and adapting, we’re confident there’s a place for all brands to come out of this with an audience that loves them as much as they ever did.

Here are some of our top tips for brands looking to get back to business on social media:

  • Be kind and have compassion
    Establishing ways to help employees and customers (and more) will put your brand in good stead for having an active and welcome voice online.
  • People want a break
    Make your focus engagement and be there for customers, even if they just want a chat. People are drawn to social media for distraction so be timely with engaging, conversation content.
  • Create content that inspires
    Consumers want content that motivates, inspires and raises a smile.
  • Be human
    Work on building a community with the fans that love your brand.

If you’re considering a little extra help to get you back on track, let’s get the conversation started…