The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way people buy products on a daily basis, it has also triggered unusual behaviors in our relationships and interactions with others. The inability to leave home or the difficulties to get together have pushed us to find other ways to exchange. On the business side, they had to adapt very quickly, not only responding to customers’ needs but also reassuring them, distracting them, taking a stand on major events. During a webinar organized by Yann Dirheimer, head of global customer advocacy at Hootsuite, Isabelle Mathieu, social media & marketing expert and Patrice Hillaire, social media director of La Poste group, reviewed what marked the year 2020. They also exchanged their point of view on the new trends to come, of which here is a summary …
I – Explosion of 70% of social networks
The year 2020 was marked by an explosion of 70% of the time spent on social networks. Today, more than half of the world’s population is present on social networks, or 3.96 billion people, reveals the Digital 2020 Global Statshot.
As for companies, social networks have made it possible to manage the health crisis to rebound but also to emerge from the crisis. In its annual report “The global state of digital in 2021” HootSuite and We Are Social decipher the state of the internet, mobile devices, social media and e-commerce. For example, we find good students like SODEXO, which regularly informed its customers about the health measures taken by society and bad students. According to Isabelle Mathieu, companies have mainly used social networks as growth drivers. Consumers, for their part, expected more ethics from brands, thus defining their choice according to the responses provided by the brands (example with the death of Georges Floyd and the hashtag BlackLivesMatters).
For Patrice Hilaire of the La Poste group, the 1er confinement was a real shock: closure of schools, closure of post offices… La Poste had to adapt very quickly and chose to focus on a few supports taking care to provide information every day. How to print labels? How to collect my parcel? At La Poste, customer monitoring is now done on social networks: Twitter being the most used because the most viral for La Poste, or Facebook but also Instagram since the end of December to meet an increasingly growing demand on this medium. .
To the question “what is for you the most effective platform to achieve your business objectives?” ” 78% of those interviewed answered Facebook regardless of the sector of activity and 70% Instagram. For her part, Isabelle Mathieu has observed a sharp increase in requests for training on the Instagram platform in recent years. It is true that its strengths are undeniable: a diverse audience, advanced e-commerce social features, innovative formats, etc. For the brand, this is an undeniable asset because consumers who feel strongly connected become the most valuable customers and even ambassadors.
II – Objective N ° 1: Acquire new customers
For the first time, acquire new customers is THE priority of brands before notoriety, to the detriment of the customer experience which falls in the priorities of the companies to 23%. Yet social media is paving the way for new customer experiences. The report also highlights the importance for brands to find their place on social media in conversations with customers. They must interact more regularly, create a qualitative customer experience taking into account the desires of consumers. This necessarily involves social listening, knowledge of data. Unfortunately, only 10% of marketers surveyed consider themselves mature in the integration of social media data (source: Hootsuite report on social transformation). Data integration is difficult, but worth it.
Isabelle mathieu confirmed, the The race for ROI is not new but it has been accentuated in the very short term because of the health crisis. Brands, notes Isabelle Mathieu, are too often focused on the product and not enough on the consumer (see the Facebook business pages of e-merchants). It also notes a lack of human resources in the management of the company’s social platforms, silo organizations that do not communicate with each other, and above all a lack of training and support on current innovations. Patrice Hillaire assures him that it is important to make managers aware of the effectiveness of social networks. Above all, to succeed on social networks, listening and interaction are the 2 key elements. Obviously, competitive intelligence remains necessary.
III – TikTok and the Reels, the formats of tomorrow?
Social Shopping, in particular Insta shopping, is the big trend for 2021. Indeed, it is more than 60% of companies surveyed planning to invest in Instagram in 2021. Instagram has become THE new e-commerce platform and often the website’s complementary sales channel.
Besides social shopping, the video, whatever its format, is also a must: example with Zoom to attend live Yoga classes, Snapchat Stories, WhatsApp, Instagram…. and now LinkedIN to humanize the relationship with the customer. Indeed, the pandemic has forced brands to review their strategy to bring more proximity and benevolence in their communication. During confinement, many young people have embarked on “lives” on social networks to maintain the link with their community or move forward on their projects. These super-short videos found on Tik Tok and Reals on Instagram not only revolutionized UGC, they also brought about a new way of consuming videos. With 11 million French users per month for Tik Tok (source médiamétrie) and 21 million for Instagram (source Harris Interactive 2020), these 2 platforms offer brands the largest organic reach and help them reach millions of people.
Another successful element experienced by La Poste is influencer marketing. During a communication operation, the influencer specializing in history was able to interact with consumers. As a result, the video was viewed over 500,000 times, a real success for La Poste. While content strategy is important, it is just as important to interact with the consumer. And, as Isabelle Mathieu points out, calling on an influencer can be a very interesting solution, especially if you want to improve your organic reach on social platforms.
With the coronavirus crisis, the craze for social networks has accelerated and has disrupted our consumption patterns. The need for entertainment via “Lives” has taken precedence over our societies and has established itself as the 1er communication channel. According to the HootSuite annual report, 80% of people prefer to watch branded lives rather than read a blog post. Additionally, in an age where all of the interaction between brands and consumers takes place online, it’s critical for businesses to find the crucial conversations that will move their strategies forward. And it is through data analysis and social listening that a company will be able to understand its environment and define its strategy based on what its consumers say.
Image source : Gerd Altmann from Pixabay