Social Media in the Age of Social Distancing

It’s been a roller coaster of a month for all of us. Those of us in the UK are currently under lockdown and social distancing, only allowed to leave our homes for work, essentials, to help vulnerable individuals, and to exercise once a day. All of us here at Web Windows are now working from home and are adapting well to the change of scenery. We’ve all set up dedicated desk spaces, and many of us have adorable pet assistants keeping us company.

The whole team at Web Windows have adapted well to working from home. We are regularly in contact thanks to Google Hangouts, Skype and Whatsapp. While it might be tempting to work from the comfort of bed in some incredibly soft pyjamas, we all get dressed each morning and work at our desks as it helps our productivity. Pyjamas might not be our preferred work from home attire, but we are partial to some pretty comfy loungewear. Even though we are out of the office, we are still contactable at home if you want to chat with us about anything.

Stay home but stay connected on social media

As everyone adjusts to spending the majority of their time at home, the importance and the power of social media has never been more apparent. People are using social media to communicate with others in times of uncertainty and reaching out to those in need. It plays a vital role in keeping people up to date with how the global situation is developing, and governments have been coordinating with social media giants to stop the spread of misinformation. The nation is coming together to encourage each other to #stayhome as the UK comes to the end of its first week in lockdown.

While it is important to stay up to date with the latest news regarding the virus, social media can act as a welcome distraction when the news gets a little too much. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest keep you connected with those you love. They provide entertainment in the form of memes and funny videos. Social media also allows us to share aspects of our lives with those around us. We encourage you to share content with your followers that is uplifting, positive and hopeful for the future. While things may feel like they have come to a halt, social media endures. We thought we’d discuss a few ways that the platforms have changed over the years to help you determine what kinds of content you should be putting out there to engage with your target audience.

Make social media content personal and meaningful

January 2018, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook (which is now closely linked with Instagram) was making changes which would prioritise “posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions.” The go-to phrase for Facebook is now “time well spent.” Zuckerberg remarked that the platform had received feedback that “posts from businesses, brands, and media — are crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Algorithm changes

The changes to the algorithm on both Facebook and Instagram have led to a fall in organic reach; posts that are not using paid promotion are not being seen by as many people. While this may seem like bad news for businesses, it doesn’t have to be. It is an opportunity to make content more fun, personal, and engaging. Show your followers the people behind the business, encourage your friends and family to support your business online if they don’t already, even if it’s just a quick like on a post every now and then. This will then expose your profile to their family and friends, increasing your visibility. 

Features to consider

Another way to increase your visibility is to consider Facebook ads. The impressions gained from Facebook ads have increased by 37% in the last year, while the price of ads has declined by 6%. It might be the perfect time to give Facebook ads a try. 80% of all internet users have a Facebook profile, and the platform allows you to tailor ads to your target audience perfectly. If you want to discuss Facebook Ads in more detail, give us a call, and we can talk you through it.

Instagram Stories

In August 2016, Instagram introduced its Stories feature. You can now share stories to Instagram and Facebook at the same time, as the platforms are closely linked. Many brands use stories to connect meaningfully with their customers. They do this by using the available stickers where customers can interact with stories. There is a range to choose from: you can tag your location, tag other accounts, use a hashtag, add gifs, add music, run a poll, and many more. The GIFs sticker is an increasingly popular feature, as it adds an element of fun to your updates. 

The content posted as a story only lasts for 24 hours, so is the ideal place to post content that is more off the cuff, such as photos or videos from events, Q&A’s, quizzes, and much more. If you want to engage more with your audience, Instagram stories are the solution.

Videos

Videos are a great way to connect with your followers. They receive the highest rates of engagement by far with 6.01% of followers engaging on average. Your videos do not have to be extremely high-quality, either. For example, a video of an event that you attended or hosted that lasts a couple of seconds will engage your followers and give them a feel for what you do. One of our clients has been creating weekly videos to discuss their products and services in more detail. Their engagement has at least tripled as a result, and they are receiving more positive comments from both past and potential customers.

IGTV

If you want to post longer-form videos, IGTV is the answer. IGTV was released in 2018, and the goal is to allow people to share longer, higher quality videos. On Instagram, you can only share videos that are less than 60 seconds long. On IGTV, videos can be up to an hour-long. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy camera. IGTV was created for mobile, and all IGTV videos are shown in portrait mode.

Final thoughts

In this uncertain time, it is crucial to adapt to the changing circumstances. Keep us updated with what is going on with you so that we can ensure that your content is relevant, informative, and engaging. While it is essential to address the global situation, it’s not all doom and gloom. Your audience will appreciate social media posts that make them laugh or smile, too. A photo of your morning cup of coffee, your working from home set up, or an adorable pet to your Instagram stories will add a personal touch to your content that will connect you with your followers. We may all be social distancing, but social media keeps us connected. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us an email or a call to talk things over.

Stay home and most of all stay safe!

Team Web Windows

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