The 13 Commandments to Slay it on Social Media-Digital Marketing in the time of Covid 19

Today, social media is a boon, and is probably going to help you in keeping your business afloat. You may think that there is no rulebook for engaging with your clients on social  media at this point, but there definitely is. Here’s a foolproof cheat sheet to acing it on social media. From creating a voice to how to handpick your influencers, we’ve got you covered says Vijetha Rangabashyam

Post By : IJ News Service On 13 June 2020 11:27 AM

Once upon a time, when the world was free of virus, quarantines and what not, social media marketing and having a thorough digital presence was one of the means to an end. Now, things have taken a 360 degree turn; businesses had come to a grinding halt and even with jewellery stores opening up partially across the country, social media is probably your only ticket to getting your business up and running. Even skeptics are leaning towards activating their digital marketing now more than ever, because they are seeing the benefits of reaching out to thousands of targeted audience and deliver a message, even something as simple as, “we still exist.”

But here’s the thing, there’s been a shift in the way content has been put out on social media in the time of Covid-19. Sure, people are spending a lot of time scrolling feeds on Instagram and Facebook, but not everybody wants to see a brand over selling their products at this time. When your business is nearly nil, panic sets in and instinctively you want to show people everything you’ve got. That’s just the sort of thing that’s frowned right now. Your audience expects sensitivity and compassion in these trying times. If you build your social media strategy on empathy with below mentioned cues in mind, you are sure to engage your audience in an effective way and may be you’ll get them to buy a piece of jewellery or two!

1. Curb your Enthusiasm

A little restraint from your end will go a long way at this time. Focus more on connecting with your audience rather than bombarding them with promotional messages. A few jewellers even felt the need to go off the radar for a few days; may be that’s too extreme an approach, but a more cautious attitude towards what you say and how you say it is more important now than ever. You would be surprised by how many people will recall your brand based on your social media behaviour when
this mayhem is over.

2. Don’t talk to a Wallet

After Covid-19, there has been a tectonic shift in terms of brands not being heartlessly transactional. The emotional pay off of any object that you buy has become a very important conversation to have. Previously it was just about the functional aspect about what the product exactly does, but things are not like that anymore. “The comfortable way of marketing which goes out on auto pilot that most marketers derive joy out of is gone. You need to be very cognizant of the fact that you are not talking to a wallet. You are talking to a human being. You need to have an empathetic conversation with your clients. Even with luxury, there are always people who will want to treat themselves by indulging in something special and it will be in the now, not in the future. While people are in that frame of mind, brands can’t be talking to them like they are a wallet,” says Sunetro Lahiri, Associate Vice President (Creative), The Glitch, a leading digital agency based headquartered in Mumbai.

Directly selling products on social media platforms is one of the biggest mistakes brands make. “Your Instagram is your story in photos, not just a catalogue of images. Finished jewels are of course beauty we all want to admire, but everything is good in moderation. Someone might start following you for jewellery that you create but selling something all the time makes followers press that unfollow button, so offering them a variety of content is the key to success,” says Katerina Perez, social media influencer and jewellery blogger.

marketing which goes out on auto pilot that most marketers derive joy out of is gone. You need to be very cognizant of the fact that you are not talking to a wallet. You are talking to a human being. You need to have an empathetic conversation with your clients. Even with luxury, there are always people who will want to treat themselves by indulging in something special and it will be in the now, not in the future. While people are in that frame of mind, brands can’t be talking to them like they are a wallet-Sunetro Lahiri, Associate Vice President (Creative), The Glitch

 

3. Don’t wallow in crisis

Brands should focus on whom they are speaking to not just in terms of target audience. “Brands want us to speak to people rather than speaking down to them. Maintaining a sense of empathy while also not focusing too much on the crisis at hand, they don’t want us to drum up the fact that there’s a pandemic. People already know it, they can see it. It is important for brands to make their clients feel better and uplift them and this is a universal brief we get from our clients,” adds Sunetro. Don’t let Covid-19 related posts take over your feed. “There is too much communication about this worrisome subject already, and jewellers have the ability to distract followers from it by showing gorgeous jewels,” adds Katerina.

4. Context is King

For years now, branding and marketing enthusiasts world over have been talking about “content” being king. But without context, there’s no content. Be observant about your surroundings, see what other content marketers are doing; you don’t have to copy them but you can certainly get an idea. As governments world over are encouraging social distancing, Nike put out a great copy, “If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance, play inside, play for the world.” An effective communication in Your Instagram is your story in line with the current context.

5. Video for the Win
Video has always been popular and in this time of lockdown, it is definitely the most effective way of engaging with your audience. Request your previous clients to record a video of themselves talking about their recent purchase or the experience they had when they were at your store. You could perhaps give a little sneak peek into your personal life, a small video of what you are cooking for your family or a snappy video that informs your client about how your jewellery gets made. Now’s the time to educate your clients about what your brand is all about, your ideology and beliefs and there’s no better way of doing it than video.

6. Words that Wow

Yes, pictures are worth a thousand words. But contrary to what most of you think, people love to read. So long as your content is crisp, clear and concise, you will even have audiences engaging with what you’ve posted. Ensure your feed has a voice. Now is the time to create content a though you are speaking to every single one of your followers on a one-to-one basis rather than a herd of people. Take the likes of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels for example – the high jewellery brands put out posts that reflected their core values, of sharing and fostering creativity, with a focus on Mother Nature while plugging in their pieces subliminally. Learn from the best.

Your Instagram is your story in line with the current context. photos, not just a catalogue of images. Finished jewels are of course beauty we all want to admire, but everything is good in moderation. Someone might start following you for jewellery that you create but selling something all the time makes followers press that unfollow button, so offering them a variety of content is the key to success -Katerina Perez, Social Media Influencer and Jewellery Blogger

7. Time to be Real

What can a piece of jewellery do to your audience? Make them feel special or make them feel happier or better about themselves. Try conveying this rather than over promising. “A product is a product is a product at the end of the day. It can’t change your world. It can change the way you feel a little bit but don’t promise your clients that it will change their lives. Be realistic about your reach,” adds Sunetro.

8. Build a larger brand message

Most jewellers, even the ones who have big digital spends have a very performance marketing driven mindset – a post on Instagram on Facebook should convert into a sale. In such a scenario, where a brand believes that every post should lead to a sale or drive foot traffic to their store, they fail to focus on a larger theme or a brand message. “After the pandemic hit and the stores shut down, most brands believed that they should stop all their marketing activity. However, if you go off the radar completely, it is not ideal, especially in a time like this. In fact we urged brands to create campaigns around the current scenario and create a stronger connect with their audience. Now is the time to build a larger message,” says an employee of Facebook.

9.Don’t shy away from digital advertising

You might have cut back on your digital spends thinking it is the wrong time to advertise, but this is not entirely true. It is a great time to advertise because there is a scarcity of advertisers. You get better pricing when you buy media online. “All digital marketing is sold on an auction basis, meaning advertisers will bid for the same audience and the highest bidder’s ad will be shown first. Right now the auction density is lower, so brands will get a much better price,” adds the person from Facebook. It is also the best time to invest in Augmented Reality ads on Facebook and Instagram. “Say you want to sell a necklace and you want to target women of certain age group and the person opens their instagram story, and they see an ad where every time they blink, the necklace on their neck changes. This is great for brands where visual appeal is necessary, jewellers must explore this,” he adds.

10.Process over Product

Your post should never just be about the product. People are more interested in how the product is being made. As the lockdown started easing in many parts of India, and ecommerce deliveries were permitted, The Summer House, a sustainable clothing brand based in Mumbai, has begun to receive many orders. What really helped them is to keep the conversation real and authentic during the lockdown period. “The tone and the manner of speaking is conversational, like between two friends. We ar transparent and honest about what we are going through. We were having constant conversation with them about our processes rather than products, we spoke about our scalability, craftsmanship, sustainability and all this helped,” says Shivangini Parihar, founder and creative director, The Summer House.

11. Handpick your Influencers

Your product is precious, special and hand crafted. You need someone special to deliver that message. In difficult times like these, were social norms are changing rapidly, people want to engage with someone real rather than someone with a million followers. “We work with a very few influencers. We don’t tell them what to do. We tell them our story and what our brand is. Audience of a particular influencer engages with them because of the way they speak. So we never second guess that – we let them endorse our product in the way they want to. Otherwise, it will be promotional,” adds Parihar. Choose people who are authentic, who have a voice, not necessarily in the fashion space. There is a big difference between someone who has over a million followers, a thousand likes and a few comments and someone with just 8k followers, 500 likes and probably 50 comments. Collaborate with someone who is not vain. The person needs to have the commitment towards what you believe in as a brand.

12. Go all out on Instagram

If you are using Instagram, use all of its features. Some of us use stories a lot but posts get you more followers. “Keep your content varied and mix up finished jewels with their drawings, jewellery making process, take your followers behind the scenes and share the jewels you are working on. Make sure you stay active on your key social media channels and if you focus on Instagram, utilise all its channels: the feed, stories, IGTV and Insta LIVE,” says Katerina.

13. Interact & be consistent

Listen to your audience and reply to their comments. Tend to every DM, you never know what could bring in a sale. Never go without posting for 2 or more days. “Answer comments, ask questions in photo captions, use interactive stickers on stories. Don’t post without any pre-planning, don’t ignore analytics - they will help to define your strategy and don’t underestimate the power of a beautiful photo - invest in quality content!” adds Katerina.

We work with a very few influencers. We don’t tell them what to do. We tell them our story and what our brand is. Audience of a particular influencer engages with them because of the way they speak. So we never second guess that – we let them endorse our product in the way they want to. Otherwise, it would be promotional Shivangini Parihar, Founder and Creative Director, The Summer House

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