Blog Thumbnail - Social media Pandemic

July 29, 2021

We've recently hosted an exclusive panel with leading social media experts to talk to us about the strategies and tactics required to outperform during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The insights our social media experts provided us were invaluable. Watch the video and review the key insights and tips below to ensure you can succeed through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Meet the panel:

⭐️ Taryn Williams, CEO and founder of theright.fit and WINK Models.
⭐️ Max Doyle, CEO and founder of Hello Social.
⭐️ Nathanial Bibby, Managing Director of Bibby Consulting Group.
⭐️ Gemma Pranita, online educator, photographer, content creator and actor.

We asked our experts challenging questions about how COVID-19 has impacted the social media marketing landscape, and what brands can do to emerge stronger. Here are the panel event highlights with the best social media tips and trends: 

What has been the single biggest change to social media marketing as a result of COVID-19?

I think the biggest change we've seen is that it has separated people who do social well and people who don't really really clearly, and that's for the better of everyone ... I think it forced brands to think about how they use social. Brands that are thinking about social more cohesively pre-pandemic, have definitely been the ones to thrive during and post-pandemic.

Headshot Taryn Williams

Taryn Williams

CEO and founder of theright.fit and WINK Models

Big brands that didn't see the value in working with or partnering with Influencers at all, are now coming back in droves and with cash to spend.

Headshot Gemma Pranita

Gemma Pranita

Online educator, photographer, content creator and actor

With the increase in the usage of social media, it's given the platforms more data, and the platforms have got better. They're serving their users better content which means that you know you've got to be good. The days of hacking the platform are pretty much over.

Headshot Nathanial Bibby

Nathanial Bibby

Managing Director of Bibby Consulting Group

A lot of Ecommerce businesses had their record years, and they will probably never have that sort of growth again. Many were up 600% in terms of revenue. ... We saw this big shift in marketing budgets go from movies and outdoor advertising to social media. Social media usage on Facebook and Instagram went up by 20% pretty much overnight.

Headshot Max Doyle

Max Doyle

CEO and founder of Hello Social

Which social media platforms have been the biggest beneficiary of COVID-19, and why?

It's a no-brainer: TikTok! The average amount spent on the platform last year went up by 53%. There were an extra 130 Million users last year, which is now sitting at about 800 Million users. TikTok has just exploded!

Headshot Max Doyle

Max Doyle

CEO and founder of Hello Social

I think during a pandemic everyone is just seeking a little bit of joy and levity and lightness in their lives, and TikTok for better or worse provides that kind of snack-sized content consumption. It's been particularly interesting watching Instagram trying to chase them and ride on their coattails with Instagram reels.

Headshot Gemma Pranita

Gemma Pranita

Online educator, photographer, content creator and actor

One statistic i will share about what's happened on LinkedIn, is that session time has tripled in the last couple of years. So if someone was spending an hour a day on the platform before, they're now spending three hours a day, so there's a lot of attention there.

Headshot Nathanial Bibby

Nathanial Bibby

Managing Director of Bibby Consulting Group

The interesting platform that we saw a lot of brands starting to work with during Covid was Pinterest. Pinterest as a platform and a social platform is one of the biggest referrals of traffic on the internet. There are Pinterest Influencers, so people who curate very niche specific Pinterest boards around particular topics and topics that happen to play well during a pandemic.

Headshot Taryn Williams

Taryn Williams

CEO and founder of theright.fit and WINK Models

How has COVID-19 impacted social media content, and what trends have you witnessed come out of the pandemic?

I think, and Taryn said it before, that you could really separate the businesses doing social media well versus businesses who aren't, and that is for the better of the platform.

Headshot Gemma Pranita

Gemma Pranita

Online educator, photographer, content creator and actor

There had been a lot of use of social media to drive conversions and drive sales, and that just really didn't feel appropriate during a global pandemic. ... Social media is a conversation and you should know your brand and you should know your audience and you should know your values and you should be able to communicate with your customers in a way that still adds value to them.

Headshot Taryn Williams

Taryn Williams

CEO and founder of theright.fit and WINK Models

It was already important to have empathy and reverse-engineer what the customer wants. But how much more important is it when there's lockdown, people are in fear, people are struggling in their business. It's become more important than ever to just have some empathy.

Headshot Nathanial Bibby

Nathanial Bibby

Managing Director of Bibby Consulting Group

We used to have around four people in a film crew with boom microphones and scripts, and now they want someone to be holding a smartphone camera and have that authentic selfie-ness because people can relate to that. There's always going to be a time and place for a high-end production, but consumers now are more accepting of lower quality content.

Headshot Max Doyle

Max Doyle

CEO and founder of Hello Social

Which brands have successfully thrived on social media during the pandemic?

Brands that have been struggling financially who continue to show up and continue to show they care and continue to add value, when they come out of the other side of Covid, they are the brands that are just going to take off because they've got these loyal customers. Customers that will go to the ends of the earth to keep working with them.

Headshot Nathanial Bibby

Nathanial Bibby

Managing Director of Bibby Consulting Group

People have higher expectations of businesses and brands now. As awful as the pandemic has been for some businesses and excellent for others, what I've loved is the complete shake-up and forcing them to look at how they use social media.

Headshot Gemma Pranita

Gemma Pranita

Online educator, photographer, content creator and actor

The brands that chose not to do things. Brands that didn't belong on TikTok and shouldn't be on TikTok, them choosing not to be on TikTok was fantastic. I think it's important for us to recognise that sometimes it's harder not to do something than to jump on the bandwagon.

Headshot Taryn Williams

Taryn Williams

CEO and founder of theright.fit and WINK Models

I think that brands that made a lot of comedy around the fact that a lot of people were in isolation really spoke to people in that situation and they could identify with that.

Headshot Max Doyle

Max Doyle

CEO and founder of Hello Social

What advice do you have for those working in the social media industry?

Always be upskilling yourself. There's always going to be new platforms and there's going to be new features on platforms. ... If you don't know what you're looking for in terms of success and you don't have any measurement framework set up, it's really hard to know whether or not it's a tool or a platform that's right for you to use moving forward.

Headshot Taryn Williams

Taryn Williams

CEO and founder of theright.fit and WINK Models

Number one: Never get too worried that it's going to change too much too quickly. There's too much money floating around social media. If Facebook and Google can't make changes then it's going to ruin it for everyone. So learn what the change is, learn the tips and tricks to account for that, but don't panic.

Headshot Max Doyle

Max Doyle

CEO and founder of Hello Social

One thing that will always remain constant is if you align your objectives with the objectives of the platform, no matter what changes happen, you can't really lose. The platforms want to keep people on there longer, so if you think about that with everything that you're doing in your strategy, no matter what changes they make, you're going to be prepared.

Headshot Nathanial Bibby

Nathanial Bibby

Managing Director of Bibby Consulting Group

I think the big ticket is in interaction. What I mean by that is not having consumers just watching things. There's actually a lot of tools on social media. So many interacting tools on Instagram, and that's as simple as a poll, a quiz, or one of those sliders. I think brands don't utilise that enough with content creators that they partner with.

Headshot Gemma Pranita

Gemma Pranita

Online educator, photographer, content creator and actor

Apart from LinkedIn, what other platforms suit B2B in general?

The average social media user is on at least six different platforms so you know you can take your pick on where you think you're going to have the biggest impact. For me, YouTube is huge. I love YouTube, people go there to consume longer-form content. You can do whatever you want, you just have to make sure you are generating Return on Investment.

Headshot Nathanial Bibby

Nathanial Bibby

Managing Director of Bibby Consulting Group

We saw brands in the B2B space doing a lot more webinars where they were hosting with content experts in a particular field that were going to add value to their customer base. I think there are some great ways to think about using Influencers and social media in a B2B space that isn't just thinking about using LinkedIn.

Headshot Taryn Williams

Taryn Williams

CEO and founder of theright.fit and WINK Models

What are some tips you have for reinvigorating a brand on social media?

It's really easy to feel paralysed when you've been out of the game and overwhelmed with stepping back in, but I think you've just got to show up, however way that might be. Just be present and start posting, you'll figure it out eventually. Trial and error, give it a go.

Headshot Gemma Pranita

Gemma Pranita

Online educator, photographer, content creator and actor

Take action. If you spend a lot of time strategising, get in there and start posting and you'll soon learn what the audience wants. That's the best way to learn.

Headshot Nathanial Bibby

Nathanial Bibby

Managing Director of Bibby Consulting Group

So there have it, key insights about the impact COVID-19 has had on the social media marketing industry, and tips on what you can do to improve your marketing as a result. We hope you have enjoyed learning about this panel event and we look forward to hosting the next one soon! 

Free video training: How to grow a business from $0 to $100k per month ... without missing a bedtime story ... using social media marketing.

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About the author 

Jonathon Tanner

Jonathon Tanner is the Co-founder & CEO of Social Media College, Australia's leading educator and trainer for social media. He co-authored the Diploma of Social Media Marketing, the world's first and only Australian Government recognised course in social media marketing, delivered by 25 leading colleges and TAFEs across Australia, and articulating into several Bachelor programs at Australian Universities. His deep expertise in social media spans content marketing, social media strategy, 15 different social media networks, paid social advertising, personal branding, email marketing, and social media conversion. Jonathon has also co-founded several other businesses, as well as spending 12 years as a management consultant specialising in mergers & acquisitions for private equity firms, growth strategy, and operational improvement. Jonathon holds a combined Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney.

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