Visibility for any business is crucial. This is because in order for a business to make a profit and thrive, it has to sell goods or services to customers over and above its costs. Therefore you need enough customers finding you who want – and can – buy what you are selling in order to stay in business. If a brand is invisible online when physical customers stay – or are kept –away then said brands are going to struggle to survive.
The Swing Towards Social Media
During lockdown people went online en masse for most of their work, school and play requirements. In April 2020 UK retail sales fell at their fastest rate ever – while ecommerce took a record share of spending, including social ecommerce.
Social media usage surged across all platforms and all age groups. According to research by influencer agency, Obviously, which analyzed more than 7.5 million Instagram posts and data from 2,152 TikTok influencers, there was a 22 percent increase in Instagram campaign impressions from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020 and a 27 percent jump in engagement on TikTok from February to March.
It’s not just the huge shift from offline to online.
The speed of change driven by COVID-19 is unprecedented, even compared to the rapid changes brought about by the growth of online retail and social media over the last decade, with agencies worldwide reporting that social and ecommerce adoption jumped a ‘decade of growth’ in a few weeks because of worldwide lockdown. Many business that were traditionally mainly offline or relied on events and expos for sales needed to pivot to being online or drastically increase their online presence, with agencies worldwide (including us) reporting a huge surge in clients and business as more brands need ecommerce facilities and better websites.
What that looked like for brands in real terms was the need for a massive pivoting away from their traditional ways of reaching potential clients via events and face to face networking and meetings, to online channels, primarily Social Media and Search. And this at a time when Social Media has also seen a huge increase in usage, both from people and brands – you may have noticed the increased noise!
Essentially what that has meant is that it is even more difficult than ever for a brand to get found, heard and become visible online, especially if beginning from a low starting point, as many businesses have been. It’s an understatement to say that this was – and is – a huge challenge for brands already stretched to the max.
How Do Brands Get Customers?
It is probably better to flip that on its head and rewrite it as ‘How does a brand attract customers and make sure that they can be found?”. Because if they can’t find you, with the best will in the world, they can’t buy from you.
We have written a lot about Social Traction over the years and how it is the essential path for brands to take to achieve visibility. Unfortunately it’s not enough to just place some advertising, write fabulous content, create good PR, send regular emails, be on LinkedIn, Facebook or even ‘do a bit of tweeting’. In order to survive (note: not thrive, just survive) every business in the UK needs an established social media presence, with an engaged social media community and well-executed social media marketing campaign that works together in order to get it on the front page of Google.
We usually say it takes four -six good months to get a brand to the first page of Google that’s if all the pieces of the puzzle are in place (lots of content for example, a healthy website and an established social media presence at the very least), so it’s a tough ask for businesses to achieve visibility in a short space of time unless they have a Social Media Genius moment.
In addition, even established and visible businesses are struggling with the increased volume of chat and content on social media. All of which means it’s even more of a struggle for brands to get visible, just when they need to be able to do it quickly.
Your Secret Weapon
There is at least one secret weapon that brands can use to make it easier to gain social traction. Research across the board is highlighting that people are choosing to support local and good businesses, ones that are supporting others, being responsible, not wasting resources, and who are seen as socially responsible.
We discuss this in more detail over on ‘Change for Good‘, ‘What Does Good Look Like‘ as well as in ‘In You We Trust‘ and we can’t emphasise how important it is. Not just because it is the right thing to do (which it is), but because it makes people feel good and creates the ‘happiness’ moment that we all crave.
It’s also important because if people think a company is not behaving well they will at best avoid it and at worst refuse to buy from it. They are increasingly calling bad brands out online – and not just individuals, but other brands too.
We have seen an increasing amount of this over the last few months and trust us when we say that the very last thing any business needs right now is a social media crisis. So commit to doing good business by being good – it’s the future and you won’t regret it.
We know it’s tough out there and this is why we are doing this – to try and help get as many brands get in to a good place as possible. We want you to get visible and be able to be found by people who want to buy from you so you survive this period and come out stronger on the other side.
If you need to know more about how to do this, please do check out the videos on the ‘Online Traction’ page, if you haven’t already watched them, where we go into more detail.
You can also read more about it here: https://www.themediamarketingco.com/how-to-create-social-media-traction/
And download our helpful guides:
How to get on Front Page of Google https://www.themediamarketingco.com/getting-on-the-front-page-google/
How to do Social Media Properly so it Works https://www.themediamarketingco.com/how-to-make-social-media-work-2/
How to Optimise Content like a Pro https://www.themediamarketingco.com/how-to-make-social-media-work-2/
Social Media Crisis Management Guide https://www.themediamarketingco.com/social-media-crisis-guide/