The Covid Effect on Social Media

When left to our own devices, we turned to…well, devices.

It’s no secret the Covid-19 pandemic has caused our screen time to go up, but by how much? Here we’ll touch on some of the impacts of Covid on social media usage that just might shock you.

How much are we talking?

Pre-pandemic social media was already thriving, and most people already had an account on at least one platform. Nonetheless, covid threw a curveball making social media usage soar to new heights.

Facebook

Facebook reported for their third quarter of 2020 that their daily active users (DAUs) increased to 1.82 billion while monthly became 2.74 billion, both a 12% increase over 2019’s third quarter. Furthermore, Facebook reported in their third quarter that their social media app counted 2.45 billion users and was reported as the second-most used app in the world. 

Twitter

Twitter in 2020 had 1.3 billion accounts and reported in their fourth quarter that their DAUs were 152 million while MAUs were 330 million.

Tik Tok & Instagram

Instagram threw in a new feature called “Reels” to compete with the new app Tiktok, which became the most downloaded social media app with 82 million downloads in 2020.

Disney Plus

Besides scrolling through Facebook or watching Tik Tok videos, during the covid lockdowns, people clung to entertainment in the form of online streaming. Most noticeably, the new pride and joy of online streaming is Disney plus. Their exclusive shows like Wanda Vision and The Mandalorian surpassed 100 million subscribers in just less than a year and a half, and their social media app had 22 million downloads in the first four weeks.

The common theme

Social media provided users with an escape from reality, while Disney Plus provided the warm and fuzzy nostalgia of our childhoods. The common theme? These platforms all provided comfort and distraction during a time of very little human interaction. 

So, consider this

Take a look at how far we’ve come. This time last year, we were confined to our homes and disinfecting our groceries. Now we are on the horizon of “normalcy” as vaccine rollouts take place across the country. But even new habits die hard. Over the last year, we have used social media as a coping mechanism and will likely continue to do so in the near future. 

The reality is that no one is quite sure where the pandemic will leave our collective psyches. So, while your customers or clients may still be seeking comfort and nostalgia, it’s just as likely they’re not and have moved on. Understanding your consumers’ mindset should be your top priority when it comes to social media marketing, especially post-pandemic. It’s okay to ask your customers questions, pick their brains, and understand their current emotional state so you can offer up content that meets their needs.

Here at James Ross Advertising, we’re constantly identifying and catering to customers’ mindsets in order to appeal to customers more effectively. Reach out to us today, we’re all ears.

The Anthem Video; A Rallying Cry

More and more brands are creating brand anthem videos. And for good reason. It’s harder than ever to get the attention of the people you’re trying to reach. With the plethora of media choices available to us every day, it’s hard to break through the clutter. More than ever, people need to be entertained to pay attention to content. 

What is a brand anthem video? 

It’s an entertaining video for customers and employees to rally around which expresses who you are as a brand. It’s a dive into the company ethos that captures the fundamental truth of what your brand stands for. Think of a brand anthem like a movie trailer. Exciting, entertaining, inspiring and relatively short, the trailer makes you want to see more and gets you pumped about the full-length film. 

And just like a movie trailer, an anthem video should make the viewer feel an emotion. 

Here is an anthem video we created for Gillz Performance Fishing that expresses their essential brand truth. 

So, what makes a successful anthem video? 

1. Make sure you communicate what you stand for. Today’s consumer wants you to stand for something that’s important to them. What are your guiding principles? Why is the company in existence? Do you stand for durability, creativity, or something else? Make sure that comes across in your branding video. 

2. Communicate an essential truth. As humans, certain truths reside in all of us. Expressing one of these commonalities will bring people together to support your brand. Choose a theme we can all get behind and support. 

3. Don’t go on long-winded product descriptions or features and benefits. Pick an overriding theme and hit that home. Remember, an anthem video is something for customers and employees to rally around. It’s not a sales video. 

4. The tonality of your video should reflect what your company offers. The tone and style of a video for a hospital would obviously be different than one for a software company. 

5. Hire a professional marketing firm to shoot original content. Sure, you can try to D.I.Y it, but professional brand anthem videos should be seen as an investment. They can have diverse marketing uses and have a long shelf life. The bottom line- don’t cut any corners. There’s nothing worse than an anthem video that features generic, amateurish, poorly shot footage. 

6. Make sure the music creates the emotion you’re after. Video content allows you to connect with a consumer on multiple levels. The audio shouldn’t be an afterthought. Select music that tells the story of your brand.

An agency that works in brand design can guide you in creating a video that not only resonates with customers but tells the story of your brand. Want to get started crafting your company’s brand anthem? Reach out to us, and we can create the brand anthem video of your dreams.

Social Media Marketing: Shoppable Posts

Social media marketing already plays a huge role in physical goods’ B2C strategies. Still, the new feature of Shoppable Posts is a complete game-changer, converting followers into leads, and leads into customers, directly on the platform. Instagram users can now scroll into your catalog, click on a product, and get directed to a landing page to complete the purchase – making the sales cycle shorter and faster. 

This is a great new added feature, but it still doesn’t replace the capabilities and marketing opportunities of a custom eCommerce website. Also, the tool requires landing pages to go on effect and paired with paid ads on Instagram. Remember, this should be an addition to your strategy, not a replacement. Tagging your products is only as good as the checkout experience on the site. 

Here are the steps you should take in order to set up your shoppable posts:

Step 1: Open an Instagram Shop

To get started, there are a few steps you must take to meet the criteria:

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of the Instagram app
  2. Convert your Instagram account into a business profile
  3. Have the admin role on a Facebook page or Business Manager account
  4. Have a product catalog associated with your Instagram Shop

If you have an eCommerce account with Shopify or BigCommerce, you can easily set up the shopping feature through them. 

It shouldn’t take long for your profile to get approved. 

Step 2: Activate the shopping feature on your account

The way this type of posts works is, like tagging a person on a picture, you tag your products on a post. Only that the products available will be the ones that you add under your “Catalog Manager” on Facebook Business Manager – which is an added feature for your social media marketing strategy since the products can appear on your Facebook page as well. Here are the steps to activate tagging:

  1. Open your Instagram profile and click on the menu on the top right
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Tap Business
  4. Tap Shopping (will only be available after the account has been approved for an Instagram Shop)
  5. Tap Continue
  6. Select a product catalog to connect to your business profile
  7. Tap Done
social media marketing

Step 3: Create shoppable content

Now that you have an Instagram Shop and have activated the feature on your account, it is time to start creating content! You can add tags and stickers with your products to either Instagram posts or Instagram stories. You can feature up to five products per post and up to 20 products on carousel posts. 

social media marketing

Step 4: Get Insights

Do you want to know how your shop is performing and track these KPIs along with your other social media marketing metrics? It’s easy! 

  1. Open your Instagram profile and click on the menu on the top right
  2. Tap Insights
  3. Check your status

Through there, you can see how many views your product had and how many people clicked on it. 

You should be all set! Mix and match Instagram Ads, Shopping posts, and landing pages. Get tagging and get selling!

James Ross specializes in building experiences, whether it’s an eCommerce, lead generation, or an informational site. It’s all about the experience.

How and Why You Should Build Brand Value

You may have the best product in the market, but industries are saturated with similar products that perform similar activities. The chance you have to highlight your brand in the midst of every other one is by adding value to it. Of course, your logo, website, and social media should be up-to-date, but these are factors that can easily be changed with time. What should be sticky about your brand is what it stands for, and your target market should care about it. If it is not clear what exactly that is – since this is not an easy task – here are some tips from us:

  1. Take a look inside.

Which colors did you use for your brand? What typography did you choose to represent it? How is the personality of your employees? What problems do you seek to solve with every customer/client? 

These are some of the questions you might want to answer to understand what your brand represents. The color blue, for example, tends to be associated with technology, security, and transparency. Red, on the other hand, tends to be associated with passion, excitement, or anger. With colors and style, your brand might already be telling a story that you do not know about. 

  1. Be unique.

There are way too many outdoor clothing brands that have set their mission and advertising capital to make people “go outdoors,” “get adventurous,” and “go places.” So, what could differentiate you among them? Your story. Go back to the beginning of your brand, what motivated you to found it? What problems were you trying to solve? These are what will make your brand unique. Telling that to consumers is a chance to start a conversation and allow people to connect with. 

  1. Find meaning, don’t create it.

Empty or vague statements won’t help you and might do the opposite. Your value proposition needs to be real, clearly defined, and, most importantly, actionable. Advertising has, for years and years, tried to create meaning, fortunately – or, unfortunately, – consumers are no longer tricked by it. Whatever your company chooses to fight for, it must be something that your target market cares about. 

brand value

Take a look at the marketplace; companies that are striving do offer a unique perspective on what they are selling. An example of this is Nike. Even though their products are at the top of the active apparel market, that’s not the only thing they are selling. Their mission statement is, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.” And this is how they act on their mission:

  1. Consistent

If you look back in 1982, when Nike released its first television commercial, their message is the same as today in 2020. They were and still are talking about innovation and how people should test their limits. This consistency in their message not only guides their advertising strategy but also what products they are putting in the market and who is the consumer that is going to identify with the brand. They have a clear and consistent vision of who their customers are because they have clearly defined who they are as a brand.

  1.  Actionable

The brand also puts effort into making people come together. 5, 10, or 21k, Nike organizes runs and workout classes all over the world. This builds a community around the brand, bringing people together, and reinforcing their brand value. 

  1. Achievable

The brand sponsors many of the top athletes in the world. And they also sell you the idea that you will be wearing the same clothes as those athletes – making you feel like one. They want to inspire. It’s in their core value and mission. 

Find your niche, know your target market, explore your brand. Quality is not the only thing that sells a product. Now more than ever, consumers demand that brands stand up for causes that they relate with. If your brand can do that, consumers will become your brand’s advocates, and you will be left with very little work.