Brands, including associations, must be willing to adjust their social strategies quickly as consumer behaviors shift. Also: Virtual events need a content strategy.
Working on a social strategy to address the COVID-19 pandemic? First, take a look at what people are saying, because the conversation has changed.
“People are anxious to return to their normal lives, and conversations around when the lockdowns will end are gaining traction on social,” says Katherine Kim on Sprout Social. “Marketers have already adjusted their social strategies in response to COVID-19. Now, they find themselves having to re-evaluate and readjust once more as consumer behaviors and conversations evolve.”
Kim points out that lockdown fatigue is on the rise, and the online discussion has steered from #StayAtHome to #EndTheLockdown. According to Sprout Social, engagements in “end the lockdown” conversations increased by 353 percent from March to April.
“After several weeks of quarantine and stay-at-home orders, people are growing increasingly restless to return to their normal lives,” Kim says.
Yet not everyone is ready to reopen, according to recent social media activity. Sprout Social noticed a 7 percent decrease in positive sentiment surrounding “end the lockdown” conversations once states began to ease guidelines, and use of the hashtag #StayHome increased by 21 percent.
As things change rapidly, brands must remember to stay agile, Kim says.
“In situations where there is no rulebook on what to do next, brands need to be agile enough to manage and adapt to unexpected change at a moment’s notice.”
Don’t Move to Virtual Events Without a Plan
— Content Marketing Institute (@CMIContent) May 26, 2020
Want to shift your in-person events to virtual experiences? Think about providing value to members instead of viewing a digital experience as an opportunity to save your organization time and money.
“Any digital experience we create should be consistent with people’s offline experiences and make life better for them, not just more convenient for the business,” says Content Marketing Institute’s Robert Rose. “A virtual event is no less valuable, should be no less expensive, and should provide no less of an experience than an analog event. Different? Yes. Less than? No.”
Other Links of Note
What will events look like in the future? Small and local, suggests a new post on the Event Manager Blog.
Looking ahead: It’s never too early to start your end-of-year campaign, says Elizabeth Neufeld on Nonprofit Hub.
How long should virtual events last? BizBash offers answers from event industry professionals.