Ep 12: Serious Social – Quick wins in social will help accelerate market recovery
As we move into recovery, consumers and customers have renewed interest in markets they have abandoned for the last few months.
In this episode, we’re talking getting your recovery social media campaign ready. Immediate Future CEO, Katy Howell discusses the strategies brands should use to make sure their social media campaigns are timely, punchy and strike the right tone.
If you’re after more know-how to break the social boring, subscribe now.
Welcome to the Serious Social podcast, created by the straight-talking social media experts at immediate future.
I am going to talk to you a little bit about how you can gain some quick wins and accelerate market recovery by focusing on tight social campaigns that can make a really big impact in a short period of time.
So, let’s start at the beginning, because consumers and customers have now begun to have a renewed interest in topics that they have abandoned in the last few months. So, we are talking about big-ticket items such as cars and property, and some recent Brandwatch data shows that apparently 63% of people who plan to buy a house pre-outbreak in 2020 still plan to do so, and of course we have goods that we could not get our hands on like during lockdown such as plants or buying furniture.
So, some behaviours from lockdown will continue, too – buying clothes online and the upsurge in DIY, apparently 63% of us plan to do large-scale home improvements. At the same time brands are grinding up the gears to accelerate marketing efforts that will push through to recovery, and the smart ones understand that there is an opportunity to grab a share of market only if they position themselves in the right place, with the right context, with the right message, and, of course, one of those places is social a place many consumers and customers have turned to whilst they are isolated at home. But you cannot just ramp up your social media output. Doubling down on the same content pre-pandemic will not cut the mustard.
For starters you would have to be really super noisy with oodles of content to cut through all the consumer activity that is happening right now. I mean, Facebook daily active users increased by 11% TikTok has surged. Twitter has grown 25%. It is mad busy.
Secondly, the mood and any behaviours have shifted a bit since lockdown. You do not want to be tone-deaf, or insensitive, but you also do not want to miss out on new opportunities.
Thirdly most brands frankly do not have time, resources or budget to deliver a big program with multiple messages and creatives.
So, marketeers that I have been speaking to recently have wanted to activate punchy and impactful campaigns that will set them on the road to recovery. Activity that will kind of fit tightly into tightly squeezed budgets that prove the case and release the next level of funding to maintain a social and wider brand profile. I would not normally recommend short campaigns on social. Consistency is essential if you are to keep building on gains, month on month.
However, there is a way to cut through all the chatter and make a case for renewed effort on social media in the mid-term. It requires a disciplined bit of planning and a mindset that says less is more. First off, of course, get to know your audience. I always say that. What are they talking about? What are they interested in? How have their behaviours changed? Look for the opportunity in the social conversation that signals motivations to buy, or implied needs, or simply a new theme that will fit well with a brand. Focus on one audience, one message, one interest theme or behaviour. You want one campaign. Do not try to be all things to all people and certainly do not just do social for the sake of it. Do social with purpose. You want to do one thing and do it well.
Last week, before car showrooms opened, we analysed social data on Brandwatch to look at how people in the UK were and are talking about car buying. We honed in on a specific behaviour: car buying mentions. A behaviour we knew that would be a trigger to help footfall onto forecourts. We examined the most patients and triggers, looked at what stayed the same and what changed. Finance remained the biggest associated theme with car buying: how do I fund it? However, a new motivation has appeared. 38% of those mentioning car buying on social were also talking about cars as an alternative to public transport.
This might just be the opportunity for a short campaign, maybe one to focus on used cars or small cars, you get the gist. The point is you create one focus, one clear message and from that you develop one campaign idea; and that one idea that delivers one goal. It could be site drives, conversion actions, but it needs to be an objective that matters to your business. With the one idea you break it out then into several narratives to tell the story in different ways. Really attract interest. One element might focus on second-hand cars for a commuting family, one may centre on first-time cars for those who want to get to work. Make it fun, entertaining helpful, supportive or informative.
Shatter your one idea so it can run for 6-8 weeks. Only now, and this is just the way with all social, do you consider format and frequency. For starters, making more noise will not help. You need to focus on quality content. What we call, “Let me just get my phone.” Thumb-stopping content because it makes you stop your thumb! So, work hard on imagery motion and animation to create posts that will jump out and feed on mobile. Create for each channel, pushing new formats and styles from instant experiences to clear still imagery. Experiment. Craft copy. Do not just say things. Create a copy that reflects the message, that calls to action and gauges readers from visual, to copy, to click, or whatever action you want them to take.
With one idea you can go beyond your own content, too. Now you have that kind of focus on partnerships and other companies, your own employees and subject matter experts, which you can build relationships with that will endure. Those relationships with advocates and ambassadors that you can take to the next level. You can look to your customer and communities and tag people. Connect and work messages into the corners of your buying audience. Then get smart and use this short-term campaign to learn. To evidence more investment.
So, track and measure as you go. Optimise throughout the campaign period. Learn what works and how this idea is received and by whom, and how are you impacting behaviours. By moving first and thinking one single idea, one message, one focus, you can get in front of your customers fast, with clear goals, simple messaging and far better results. A perfect short-term campaign for recovery that will have impact. Let’s get your social moving and join your customers where they are playing most, right now, and show the business that social can make a difference.
If you’re after more know-how to break the social boring, subscribe now and check out the show notes for links to our website and social profiles.