Long before COVID-19 swept across the world, e-commerce was already experiencing a historic upward trend. Retailers such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target have capitalized on a growing desire to shop from the comfort of home and skip the crowds. While many companies have taken a substantial economic hit during these times, other companies who have embraced the e-commerce model have seen a huge boom in sales. With a captive audience that is mostly limited to the confines of home, there has never been a better time to invest in a social media marketing strategy for your business, especially if you are an essential business with e-commerce and delivery options. Here are three reasons why social media marketing is a must for not only now, but also when we return to normal life.
The New York Times and US Campaign (a marketing/communications news site) both put out articles detailing the effects COVID-19 has had on social media traffic. While it is important to note that social media is pretty consistently on an upward trend regardless of external circumstances, the numbers following the first COVID death in the US in February tell an interesting story. Facebook and Tiktok have each experienced a 27% increase in user engagement, while Instagram has featured a whopping 74% increase in user engagement. These numbers tell a story we could all likely predict; while people are forced to stay at home, they are turning to their phones and specifically social media to pass the time. Advertising on these platforms is now reaching a larger and more engaged audience than ever before.
For many people, the closest they will get to going to a brick and mortar shop is through curbside delivery. Grocery stores were some of the first to offer curbside pickup, but other businesses such as Home Depot, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Best Buy have also adopted this strategy with their products. RetailDive, an online resource for retail journalism, recently put out an article about the consumer during the COVID-19 pandemic, which reported a 14% increase in e-commerce sales from March 23 to March 30th. While this only covers one week of the pandemic, we can reasonably assume that these numbers will continue to rise the longer we spend inside. With many brick and mortar shops completely closed down during these times, e-commerce is the only way for businesses to fulfill sales. Promotion from all the major e-commerce sites includes some measure of social media marketing campaigns, and while online sales continue to dominate the marketplace, social media is an effective vehicle to get buyers to websites.
MIT Technology Review recently wrote an article about the idea of returning to normal life after the shutdowns are lifted. In this article, they describe the structure of pandemics and how lifting the social bans at the wrong time could effectively eliminate all progress made through shutdowns and social distancing. While everyone agrees that countries cannot be shut down forever, social distancing guidelines may become a necessity to reopen the economy and prevent future outbreaks from occurring. Businesses will need to adapt to this model by relying more heavily on digital marketing strategies to promote e-commerce as opposed to traditional marketing strategies.
The COVID-19 outbreak is forcing companies to adapt to the future of business, and digital marketing is just one of the many areas that is expected to grow exponentially during this time. BloomSocial is here during the pandemic to provide full service social media marketing management, including advertisement campaign strategies and content creation.