In the midst of the global coronavirus outbreak, social media has emerged as a valuable platform for businesses to connect with consumers. With people spending more time on social media during these uncertain times, companies are seizing the opportunity to reach their target audiences and promote their brands. The pandemic has led to cuts in marketing budgets, making social media a cost-effective alternative for businesses to make a significant impact.

According to GlobalData’s weekly Covid-19 tracker, which analyzes consumer behavior across 11 countries, 43.7% of consumers are dedicating more time to social media. This trend is anticipated to continue even after the crisis subsides. Recognizing this shift, companies are redirecting their marketing efforts towards social media to utilize its ability to drive purchases and foster consumer loyalty.

Emily Salter, a retail analyst at GlobalData, believes that social media will have an even more prominent role in post-Covid-19 marketing strategies. Many retailers are cutting their marketing budgets to conserve cash during this crisis, especially those that previously relied on traditional forms of advertising like television and billboards. Social media provides a more affordable alternative, especially when brands incorporate user-generated content and decrease their dependence on sponsored posts and collaborations.

When it comes to social media, retailers need to approach it with sensitivity and strike the right balance in their messaging. Instead of solely focusing on boosting sales, engaging with the audience should be prioritized. Salter suggests retailers take into account the financial instability that many consumers are facing and ensure that their content is not heavily skewed towards purchase-driven posts. This is particularly crucial as unemployment rates soar globally and a significant portion of followers may not feel financially capable of buying non-essential items.

Instead of solely concentrating on their products, Salter advises retailers to focus on cultivating brand loyalty and influencing consumer choices in the long run. This involves shifting the focus beyond products and highlighting other aspects of their brand identity that resonate with consumers. Retailers should also emphasize the positive actions they have taken during the crisis and foster a sense of community through increased engagement. These strategies enable shoppers to connect with the brand on a deeper level, regardless of their current ability to make purchases.

In conclusion, the coronavirus crisis has accelerated the importance of social media as a marketing tool. As businesses face budget constraints, social media provides a cost-effective method of reaching their target audience and building brand loyalty. By approaching social media with sensitivity and focusing on engaging with consumers, retailers can create a lasting impact and foster a sense of community, even during times of uncertainty.

Useful Links:
1. Forbes: Don’t Make These Four Social Media Marketing Mistakes During the COVID-19 Crisis
2. Experian: How Marketers Can Adjust Their Strategy During COVID-19