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BizReport : Social Marketing : August 24, 2020

How to use social to engage

Since businesses and workplaces shuttered in the spring because of the Coronavirus pandemic there has been a strong upsurge in the use of social media. People are using social not only to stay connected with friends or family but to interact with brands, shop, and get their news. That is opening a whole new arena to marketers for engagement and loyalty building - Bazaarvoice's new State of Social Report sheds light on the changes in social media use.

by Kristina Knight

"It should come as no surprise that due to COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, with people staying home more, screen time has increased massively. The majority of our survey respondents in the UK (82%) and NA (72%) said that their social media consumption has increased significantly during the pandemic. Because right now we can't enjoy many of the social activities we are so accustomed to, many are probably using social media as their personal outlet to connect with others," said Suzin Wold, SVP of Marketing, Bazaarvoice. "Many consumers are looking to social media to escape the doom and gloom of today's news cycle.  Some of the top types of content people are looking for include 'influencer content', 'shopping content', 'humorous content', 'recipe content', and 'updates from friends and family'. People want content that will not only bring them some joy during these tough times, but will also provide them with information, or a service."

The increase in the use of social platforms has many brands heading directly into the space. Not a bad thing, but Wold warns that social networks and social marketing aren't the same navigable spaces as other publishing hubs. And, according to Wold, that makes influencer campaigns a natural fit - because social media influencers have an engaged following ready for content.

"Now is as good a time as any to pair up with influencers, as 'influencer content' is a type of content people are specifically looking for right now on social media. But, brands must be sure that the content provided is appropriate and not tone deaf. If done correctly, influencer marketing can pay off in a big way. In fact, 70% of North American survey respondents and 74% of UK respondents agreed that "reviews from social media influencers impact their purchase decisions," said Wold.

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">three-quarters of North American consumers say they're now visiting branded social pages prior to making a purchase
. These consumers also note that they have noticed the uptick in content surrounding social justice initiatives from brands. Wold believes this change in the type of content being created and engaged with will have a long-lasting impact not only on social media consumers but on brands within the social space. The key, of course, is to continue creating the kind of content people want.

"There are certainly platforms that are more important in terms of e-commerce. Of our survey respondents who prefer to shop on social media, 84% in North America and 92% in the UK said they shop from Instagram. The second most popular platform in both regions was Facebook. But all social media platforms have the power to influence a customer to purchase, whether that is on the app directly, on a brand's website, or in a brand's store. A majority of consumers in both North America (62%) and in the UK (66%) agree or strongly agree that a brand's social media presence influences their decision to purchase," said Wold.

Tags: Bazaarvoice, influencer marketing, influenster report, social marketing, social marketing tips

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