2020 was a crazy time for business. A rapid response to Covid-19 has allowed New Zealand to escape the worst of the pandemic, and enable New Zealand to have a more positive economic outlook than most countries.
However, the pandemic is still out there, and statistics show new trends emerging that are changing how people connect with friends and family and interact with businesses.
Change always comes with new opportunities. Over the last few months of 2020 and continuing into 2021, thousands of companies are discovering innovative ways to continue serving customers that are spending more time at home.
The biggest market influences have come from social media marketing and eCommerce. To reach new customers and engage with existing ones, social media for business is playing an increasingly important role in a marketplace that the pandemic has forever changed.
Here’s how social media marketing will impact business in the future and how you can learn to take advantage of its marketing potential.
The Explosion of Online Commerce
One of the most immediate effects of government and self-imposed isolation is that more and more people are spending time online.
Instead of heading out to visit friends or going out to shop, people are connecting through social media, video conferencing, and purchasing more goods and services online.
Year on year percentage gains with online commerce has been evident for the last decade or so. However, in 2020, New Zealanders spent approximately $1.2bn more online than they did in 2019. This figure is 25% greater than in the same period between 2018 and 2019.
Research shows that more than 305,000 New Zealanders tried online shopping for the first time in 2020. Due to eCommerce’s ease and convenience, you can bet that many new adopters will make online shopping a part of their regular routine. [*1]
In short, the pandemic has made socialising and shopping online the new normal. Fortunately, there’s a lot a business can do to adapt to the changing market conditions.
How the 'New Normal' is Shaping Business in 2021
The pandemic has had a significant influence on how consumers interact with friends, family, and businesses.
If the market demographic is spending more time at home on connected devices, an effective social media marketing campaign is the quickest route to getting their attention.
For 2021, building brand awareness will increasingly rely on maintaining an active social media marketing presence.
How Social Media Marketing Helps Spread the News About Your Business
Social media for business can increase brand awareness for your company. Understanding your demographic and knowing where they spend most of their time on social media will improve your results, but each forum will use a similar strategy.
Once you have your business account up and running, you will need to attract and engage with your audience through social media posts, which are the online equivalents to flyers or newspaper ads.
However, while traditional advertising models using physical mediums are passive, social media provides many opportunities for a business to engage with its audience actively.
You can ask questions, post surveys, release timely news about new products or services, give loyal followers discounts, or do the same as an incentive for new followers to join up.
Encouraging engagement with your posts reinforces your brand message, but it also encourages engagement with your posts, further increasing your reach.
Engagement is the lifeblood of social media platforms because, without it, they would not exist. A post that receives lots of attention shows that people are interested in what you have to say. As a result, your post will receive a lot more impressions (how often your post is displayed) in the news feed, and will even show up in those who may not currently subscribe to your page or profile.
Important Social Media Metrics you Should Track
There are a few more important metrics to pay attention to when using social media to build your brand, including:
- Mentions which count the number of times someone has mentioned your business on social media.
- Follower growth which measures how fast your follower count is growing over time.
- Reach which tracks how many people saw your posts (the same post can show up multiple times in the same feed).
Analysing your social media engagement through the above metrics will help you gauge which posts are receiving the most traction. When you notice a particular type of post doing well, such as a survey or video post, creating more of those posts should improve results.
Social Media Can Increase Traffic to Your Website
Engaging with your audience through social media marketing will always be awesome for business, but your website is also an essential part of the equation.
Social media for business has long been used as a way for companies to increase traffic to their websites and blogs, but the pandemic has emphasised the growing importance of this strategy.
Whenever you publish new content to your blog, add a new product or service to your range, or have other important news to share about your company, a robust social media following is an excellent way to increase traffic to your business website.
Links that take the visitor through to an optimised landing page will add value to the social media post, and create a more satisfying customer experience. A post about a new product which links to your homepage and forces the visitor to hunt for the relevant information will likely result in a lost opportunity.