During the past two months, we’ve seen brands adapt their digital marketing activities to reflect global events. As businesses have been forced to suspend or shut down operations, many have capitalised on increased social media usage to stay connected with consumers in isolation.
The importance of becoming fluent in social media to successfully promote your business and interact with your customers is common knowledge. However, using social media effectively comes with its own challenges. The digital landscape is prone to rapid changes. If brands take too long to react, their content can be perceived as forced, insincere, and ultimately irrelevant.
With these constant shifts, it can be difficult to keep up with trending topics, but it’s an integral part of maintaining an online presence. Life during the pandemic is no exception. Since COVID-19 began impacting people’s lives, relying upon social media has become more important than ever. With shelter-in-place orders and quarantine, users are spending a significantly increased amount of time on the Internet and social media. This presents a golden opportunity for brands to really make an impression. Here are just a few of the most creative examples of social content from the past few months.
The aviation industry has generally been a big trendsetter in this aspect. A few months ago, Indigo poked some harmless fun at Vistara with a quirky tweet stating “Not flying higher these days we heard?”, with the hashtag #StayingParkedStayingSafe. Other Indian airlines were quick to join the conversation with their own witty comebacks, with Delhi Airport finally rounding up the conversation with a hopeful-for-the-future kind of tweet. They not only conveyed the importance of staying home but also kept themselves relevant in the audience’s mind through a unique take on the current situation.
The last months have been turbulent for Warner Bros. The crisis has impacted cinemas, meaning delays for many of the big releases for the past few months (and the rest of summer). Yet, there’s been an increase in demand for home entertainment, especially projects from the TV and publication side of the brand.
For the company, they needed to keep excitement for the brand and its properties ignited, to ensure success for the delayed releases. This meant upping their already successful social media and PR strategy, to maximize engagement. The average engagement in the ‘during coronavirus\’ period was 30.6 engagements per mention, compared to a before ‘coronavirus\’ rate of 24 engagements per mention. An increase of 27.5%.
The brand knows that they drive love by continually feeding their fan bases with new content, and listening to what their audience wants. During the crisis, while it wasn’t possible to continue with the major releases as they’d planned, Warner Bros. could still be part of the conversations with teasers and snippets. They teamed up with Lego to release a special PSA to help children understand the crisis, and finally announced a project that had been in demand for a long time. A Snyder cut of the Justice League movie.
Demand for a director’s cut of the Justice League movie has been in demand for a while. So when Warner Bros. officially announced it, mentions went through the roof. The announcement was something the community had wanted for a long time. And was just what was needed for people to look forward to post lockdown. This unity between brand and consumer should aid the company’s recovery in the coming months.
Museums might be closed, but the Getty Museum in California has been encouraging social media users to continue celebrating their love for art during lockdown. Back in March, it launched the ‘Getty Museum Challenge’, in which it asked social media users to recreate their favourite artwork using just three objects found around the house.
The challenge caught the imagination of serious art lovers (as well as a few rather bored souls, clearly), resulting in tens of thousands of responses across social media platforms. Some of which, like the below example, are particularly inspired.
What started out as a seemingly spontaneous and fun way to connect with fans has generated some well-deserved engagement for the Getty Museum, also showing others in the art world how social media can be utilised for fun even during testing times.
To help its consumers maintain their fitness and personal morale during the crisis, sporting colossus Nike made its club training subscription free for a limited period of time—offering fans of the brand exclusive access to training, health, and fitness content.
In addition to its value-driven offering, in-app content, and inspirational brand messaging, Nike also extended its message of staying healthy during the virus to its podcast. As the pandemic endures, Nike continues to maintain a strong sense of brand loyalty and its collective efforts have also helped mitigate its dwindling sales in China.
What’s most interesting about the Domino’s approach is actually the format they used for their messaging. Back in April, Domino’s released a recruitment video featuring franchise owners from various locations. The message in the video is pretty straightforward, as the speakers acknowledge the changes they’ve made to continue operating during the pandemic and ask viewers to apply to join the team.
However, all the footage used in the video is from a Zoom call, an app that most of their customers are familiar with by now. Using that familiar layout gives viewers the feeling that we really are in this together, as we all do our best to adjust to new ways of communicating.
You realise the urgency of a situation and message, only when you see a brand tweaking its logo, which otherwise stands untouched as a symbol of its identity. This happened with the famous fast-food giant McDonald’s. McDonald’s Brazil ran an ad that depicted the golden ‘M’ separated down the middle. McDonald’s may have received flak for being ‘opportunistic’ but this hasn’t deterred brave brands from venturing into the realms of logo-editing to depict the importance of social distancing. After all, creativity tops everything.
The CPG giant is using its iconic billboard in Times Square, New York City, to spread health advice amid COVID-19. A few people who walked into the heart of Manhattan must’ve seen Coke’s name with extended spaces between letters in a satisfying play of autology. The work was created in partnership with Mercado McCann in Argentina.
Coke has made a number of changes to its operations since the coronavirus outbreak. Last week, the company said it has gone to extreme measures to protect the safety of its staff and customers by implementing steps which include additional cleaning and sanitization routines and restricting visitors to its facilities.
Part of the statement stated: \”In line with recommendations to reduce large gatherings and increase social distancing, The Coca-Cola Company has asked the majority of office-based employees to work remotely. This includes employees based at the company’s global headquarters in Atlanta, with about 6,500 employees. The company intends to return to normal operations on April 13 in Atlanta but will continue to reevaluate its plans.\”
Meanwhile, The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Coke, have made contributions to support relief efforts in China, Italy, the United States and Canada. The foundation is reviewing additional opportunities to support other communities around the world. Foundation grants so far total $20.5 million.
In line with the reassessment of their branding and marketing strategies, several brands have gone all-out with their unique and creative ideas, yet staying well within the limits of sensitivity. Though several companies have faced backlash for being apparently selfish and tactless, the majority of them seem to have gone down well with the audience. The days to come will tell us how the tides turn. In the meantime, all we can do is support each other and the brands we love.
No matter what kind of content you\’re pushing out, you\’ll have no trouble finding established best practices for attracting customers. But what makes all the difference is how well you communicate with your audience. To learn more about how to successfully communicate with your audience, visit us at https://www.koffeetech.com/.