Social media

New ways to connect

Many brands are finding current circumstances and changing consumer behaviour have disrupted their business model. So now is a good time to evaluate your role as a brand, understand what your customers want or need and work out how best to reach them. Head of Social Media, Nigel Hammersley, reveals how lockdown is creating new opportunities for brands to connect with audiences on social platforms.

Social media can provide an easy win to help businesses turn on communications quickly and, for those who need, a channel to talk to their customers. If you’re looking to build awareness, get engagement or to push out messaging, social makes sense.

Current circumstances and the resulting change in people’s behaviour provide opportunities for brands to be more present on social media. As most of the country, and indeed the world, is in lockdown, social media consumption is on the up. People are looking for entertainment, parents are looking for things to do with kids or ideas to keep them entertained. There’s a captive audience seeking out content and if you can help fulfil that need, they will respond favourably. It’s the classic value exchange, my time and attention for your content. So if it makes sense for the brand (and it’s not forced) then now’s a good time to deliver on that.

Think about long term gain

Our advice to Clients is it’s less now about telling people how good you are and more about showing them. Brands we work with like Barilla and illy coffee can do this by providing cooking or instructional content that’s authentic to their area of knowledge and expertise. It’s a perfect fit for the brand, genuine in intention and represents what they stand for. This won’t necessarily equate to sales (short term gain) but will definitely go a long way to building brand affinity, preference and loyalty (long term gain). 

Direct-to-consumer opportunities

Some categories are affected more than others. Food & beverage brands that are normally selling via bricks and mortar or high street retail/on-trade are exposed because in some instances that entire channel has been shut down. Now is the time to really focus on the direct to consumer opportunities via social media because I believe consumers are more likely now than ever to change behaviour. Take for example if a person drank at a particular coffee high street establishment every day on the way to work. They still want a quality coffee but can’t leave the house and maybe didn’t make it at home, so has no preference on brand. In the current climate of adjustment and establishing new norms, routines or behaviours, now is the time to be present and provide that solution to their new problem.

More bang for your buck

Some brands don’t want to spend right now because of uncertainty and that makes sense, but for others now could be the time to spend efficiently. For example, reaching new audiences. Behaviours have changed, and it could make sense to reach that customer in a new way or target them with a new message. Or get busy with content creation. There’s a real opportunity to create social content with partners or influencers because, for some creators, their schedule is freer. It doesn’t need to be content that is used now, but content that could be banked and used later – saving money longer term. Finally, media spend in some categories will also go further. With less competition from competitors or comparators targeting the same consumer, the cost of reach has decreased providing more bang for your buck.

How can Bray Leino help?

It’s not a case of one size fits all and the current opportunities for brands on social will vary depending on a number of factors, including the brand, product, business objectives, audience and budget. However, now could be the time to re-evaluate your social strategy and the role social plays to deliver business success. Bray Leino offers an end-to-end service from strategy and platform selection, to content creation, community management, paid media support, influencer engagement, social listening and evaluation. Contact Business Development Director, Austen Donnellan, to learn how we can help your brand.

Having worked in advertising, specialising in digital and emerging technologies, for over 23 years, Nigel has experience in the UK, NZ and the UAE, leading Agencies into the digital age. More recently, Nigel has focused on helping global brands and Clients from government, corporate and consumer to deliver successful social media platforms and campaigns, winning a variety of industry awards along the way.

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