By Sara Harrell
Client Success Lead, Strategy & Communication at Greater Thought Marketing+Design
Social media has never been more powerful as a marketing tool. To make the most of it, CMOs and marketing managers must consider how the marketing landscape has changed in the past year — and plan their marketing strategies accordingly for the future. Let’s talk about 5 tips to adapt your social media strategy for a post-pandemic world.
Harvard Business Review recently completed a survey among CMO’s relating to the effects of Covid-19 on marketing strategy. They confirmed that social media has become even more critical to the marketing mix during the pandemic. The survey reported that social media spending has increased from 13.3% of marketing budgets in February 2020 to 23.2% in June 2020 — a 74% lift. Meanwhile, spending on traditional advertising is projected to decline, as CMOs estimate a 5.3% reduction in traditional advertising channels in the next 12 months.
How can you as a Marketing Leader build on this growing trend and plan social marketing strategies for use in a post-pandemic world?
Consider These 5 Tips to Adapt Your Social Media Strategy for a Post-Pandemic World:
1. Integrate social media strategy into your overall marketing strategy.
The August 2019 CMO Survey reported that social media is not well integrated with marketing strategies (scoring 4.2 on 7-point scale where 1 represents “not at all integrated” and 7 represents “very integrated”). Although a slight improvement from past surveys, this number is still too low to produce adequate returns on social media investments — and far too low for an expenditure that comprises nearly a quarter of marketing budgets.
As social media takes center stage in a post-pandemic marketing world, it needs to integrate more seamlessly with the company’s broader marketing strategy.
Because social media is the current bright light, marketers should ensure their social media strategy directly aligns with their overall marketing strategy to maximize the benefits produced by these synergies.
2. Invest in top social media talent.
Social media managers are now being asked to manage a costly and highly effective piece of the marketing budget and to take on a role that often requires wearing multiple hats (copywriter, graphic designer, customer service rep, etc.). So marketing leaders need to think carefully about who should fill this key position. While the best social media managers can have a positive impact, an inexperienced or unqualified one could be detrimental to a company’s brand. The national average salary for social media managers is $50,500, according to Glassdoor, which seriously lags the average compensation for the positions they often serve in: copywriters average $58,500, marketing managers average $65,500, and ad managers average $71,000. To get top talent in this area, compensation must meet the increasing value of the role.
Remember you have options.
Think about if it makes sense to think differently and hire an experienced outside partner to manage your social media efforts. There are many pro’s and con’s which you can explore here. You may find that the benefits for hiring outside exceed those of adding poorly equipped full time staff members.
3. Ensure agile social media management.
2020 has shown just how quickly the social media landscape can change. Recognizing this, CMOs ranked the “ability to pivot as new priorities emerge” as the top skill they look for in marketing talent. So, when it comes to social media management, marketing leaders must ensure that talent, processes, and agency partners are prepared to respond to and capitalize on these sudden changes. Organizations willing to re-evaluate their social media strategies in a rapidly changing landscape will minimize risk and maximize the opportunity to connect with consumers.
4. Adapt your creative content to the times.
It is important for brands to keep creative content relevant to the current Covid-19 reality, whatever that may be. For example, a social media post that portrays a brand at a large, indoor gathering of people could be ignored by consumers who perceive it as outdated — or worse, insensitive. On the other end of the spectrum, many consumers are fatigued from content that centers around the virus. To resonate with followers, social media content must strike a balance.
5. Take care to select and onboard the right agency partners.
Results from the February 2020 CMO Survey indicate that 24.1% of companies’ social media activities are now performed by outside agencies — an increase from 17.4% in 2014. As agency partners become an increasingly important part of an increasingly important part of the business, selecting, training, and building a strong relationship with these partners is crucial.
For more information on how you can align your business with an experienced, social media savvy digital marketing partner – just let us know what questions you have.
As the Covid-19 pandemic pushes consumers to spend more time online, social media becomes an increasingly important part of the connection between brands and their customers — both existing ones and potentially new ones. Now is the time to invest in building an integrated and agile social media management function to adapt to the new landscape.
Based on an article published by Harvard Business Review, Adapt Your Social Media Strategy for a Post-Pandemic World, January 19 2021, Christine Mooreman & Torren McCarthy. Read the full article here.