While quarantine has been a struggle for us all, it doesn’t have to mean complete isolation. Today more than ever, social media platforms are the go-to for connecting with family, friends, and the outside world. Concerts, fitness and cooking classes, and even political rallies have gone virtual.
As many businesses reduce marketing and advertising budgets in their struggle to stay afloat, social media has become the de facto place to keep brands relevant. We’ve seen and supported our clients with several of the following ideas that will continue to work well beyond this time of social distancing.
How-to content: The service industry is taking one of the hardest hits. Yet how-to videos have seen a significant surge as people sequestered in their homes look for guidance or projects to keep them occupied. While video content takes some focused time and energy to produce, many of us have more time on our hands than ever, and tutorials have the opportunity to be engaging and creative.
For example, restaurants and chefs are providing live cooking and cocktail demonstrations. Gyms, personal trainers – and even organizations like Ballet Arizona – are providing home-based workouts and diet and nutrition tips from their professionals. It is such a treat to watch a beautiful Ballet AZ dancer show you their home workouts (even if you can’t do them)! Locally, Linda Valenzuela Salon is producing individualized hair coloring kits for customers with online video tutorials. While lessons from influencers have been available for years on social media, many people want to watch, subscribe, and financially support local businesses that are near and dear to us.
Don’t be afraid to allow comments while streaming – even if they are sometimes funny or slightly inappropriate. Customers love to engage and usually offer very positive feedback. People, by nature, want to learn, and these demonstrations and tutorials give viewers useful information that will last well beyond quarantine, bringing increased affinity to your brand.
“Going live:” Many celebrities, influencers and businesses are creating Instagram live stories, and we think they have the right idea. Going live puts you in front of your audience immediately, and brings attention to your brand. Desert Botanical Garden went live by taking patrons on a beautiful walk through the garden, showing spring flowers in bloom. Phoenix Indian Center produced a live Census Q&A. Companies are hosting virtual happy hours for their employees or customers with fun games to play while they stream.
However, as with any social media campaign, be sure to prepare beforehand. Disasters can happen, especially when you go live. Be sure to know what you’re doing and who’s in charge ahead of time. A live demonstration needs to feel professional, natural, and authentic to the viewer. Practice at least once before putting your brand out there. Content should be entertaining, engaging, and logical. Also, be sure to inform your audience in advance to ensure you get a little traction for the live broadcast.
Finally, we know that we are all in this together, and it’s not just about the bottom line. Offering to donate a percentage of the proceeds from online sales to support non-profits, your employees, or health-care professionals is an excellent way to show you care. Consumers will remember companies who helped during this time and appreciate your commitment and dedication to the greater good. And if you need support, we’re always here to help.
Wishing everyone the very best,
The Urias Communications Team