TRAFFIC SHIFTAs you have probably guessed, whilst locked away at home during this lockdown, we are spending a lot more time on our small screens, as well as the larger ones! Our job, as social media marketers, is to find new ways to get in front of our intended audience’s eyes, through all appropriate channels. What is interesting, is a recent study shows how different industries have changed their posting on social media in recent weeks.
The travel and tourism audience is now a low hanging fruit across social media, as many businesses have begun to fall away from the screens of users. This is likely due to the closure of many business as well as budget cuts.
This also means that they are posting less adverts, making your cost per click fall and allowing you to reach a larger audience for less. This does of course come with the change in perception from the audience; people are less willing to travel or book their next stay anytime soon.
However, there is strong evidence showing that people are willing to travel in 2020, but most likely in their own country, “Staycations” if you like!
For example, the best time for posting organically on Facebook had been Monday, Wednesday and Friday, between 10am and 2pm. Since Covid-19 entered our daily lives, the attention is now more evenly spread across the weekdays yet still between 10am and 1pm, but the lunchtime peak has fallen.
Instagram is also showing peaks for the same weekday times, but also during the weekends, indicating that it’s mobile based platform is proving a strong stage for entertainment and media consumption throughout the entire week.
Twitter also remained stable in its peak times as many depend on this platform for news updates and connecting with political leaders and announcements related to Covid-19. There is a slight shift in the Friday peak from 9am to the earlier slot of 7am to 9am
LinkedIn’s best posting times has remained largely the same due to it’s professional/work based content, but interestingly, the peak time has shifted to a slightly later starting and ending time. This is likely due to the change in working conditions, and with less people travelling to work now, the daily commute peak is lost.
Emphasising your locality, ease of access by car etc is going to be a very important aspect of your posting on social.
ALIGN YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS WITH REALITY
To begin, the most important and regular piece of information that is going to be viewed in the coming weeks and months is your business’s availability. Ensure that your business information is all up to date across all channels.
For example, your opening hours on your Google My Business and on your Facebook profile is of utmost importance. Having one post describing your businesses stance on Covid-19, eg whether your hotel is fully closed to public, open to essential guests only etc, is good to have front and centre of your social media profiles. You can do this pinning the post to the top of your profile on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. On Google My Business, there is an option to give a specific Covid-19 update which will be displayed on your profile.
These updates give your audience the immediate information they want and promptly, stopping them from scanning on to the next available business.
Given the large increase in social media traffic, and a fall off in competitor posting this leaves great opportunity for organic posting to be seen by your hard-earned followers.
Not only has the amount of traffic changed, but also the times during the day they are active.
EMBRACE YOUR AUDIENCE AND PREPARE FOR NORMALITY
Using this time to connect more deeply with your engaged audience is going to be an important strategy if you want to get ahead of your competition during the pandemic. Trust has become an important factor for customers as they envision coming back to reality, they want to know what brands they can trust.
This will largely depend on how brands act throughout this period of crisis and if they can show strength and trustworthiness to the public. Working to help your staff and the local community is a great way of engaging with your audience, building that trust which might be harder to do in normal circumstances.
Posts relating to these topics and acts of kindness tend to drive large engagement numbers and will be remembered when the restrictions are lifted and business returns to normal, while the businesses who remained a quiet struggle to find that connection and even rebuild the one they had before the pandemic.
Preparing your business to best withstand the ever-changing landscape of social media is loaded with challenges and opportunities. Focus on the aspects you can control, firstly by getting your listings all in order, your opening times, availability etc. From there you can begin to engage with your audience, working around the new popular times for engagement and diverted traffic on each channel.
Building your relationship with the customer is your final task, as we edge closer to the loosening of restrictions, this is your golden opportunity to get ahead of the pack and gain the trust that will be invaluable as customers begin to open their pockets again and it’s business as usual!