It will be news to no one that we are currently navigating some very challenging times. Many people struggle to pay their energy bills and must choose between putting food on the table or heating their homes. So now more than ever, brands need to be mindful of today’s reality as people adjust their spending habits in light of the cost-of-living crisis.
So, what should companies consider when planning their social media activities over the next 12 months? Our digital experts weigh in:
(De-)Influencer marketing – Ellie Madgwick, Digital Associate Director
A new trend we’ve seen gain momentum in recent weeks is the ‘de-influencing’ movement. The hashtag #deinfluencing has over 100 million views on TikTok and shows no signs of slowing down.
As consumers become more discerning about spending their hard-earned cash on viral brands during a time of tightening purse strings, content creators are responding by letting their audience know what isn’t worth the hype. Creators are filming reviews to provide their followers with more balanced information on popular products, especially on platforms like TikTok where the younger generations are keen to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle.
After content trends that have popularised product hauls and highly publicised launches, the age of overconsumption appears to be waning. Whether this is a trend that lasts remains to be seen, but brands should acknowledge that deinfluencing is on the rise and embrace the opportunities it creates for thinking differently about promoting products.
Generous content – Claire Delplancq, Senior Digital Account Director
Now more than ever, there is a risk for companies to come across as tone deaf on social media. Customers are smart and don’t fall for calls to action such as ‘We know times are difficult but buy our product anyway!’ anymore. These types of call to action can even result in some pretty significant reputational risks if a post gains attention for all the wrong reasons. Not all publicity is good publicity, especially during a cost-of-living crisis.
From a premium bottle of shampoo to a new kettle, the consumer buying process is more thorough than ever as customers have less spending power to try new things. People want to make sure they invest in long-lasting and above all efficient products, so their money stretches further; it is up to companies to demonstrate the real value of their products or services and prove that they are worth the investment.
With the rise of more authentic and raw content on platforms like TikTok and BeReal, inspirational and aesthetic posts are not as efficient to drive conversions as they used to be. Brands need to concentrate on the substance of the content rather than how it looks to continue to grow online. They need to demonstrate true added value, be mindful of the current reality, and be generous with their offering. Rather than sharing beautifully edited posts that won’t come across as genuine, brands have to help their potential customer solve a problem they have and be transparent about quality and durability.
Smart advertisement – Alice Webb, Digital Account Director
Brands are not immune to the increased prices consumers are paying for everyday goods and are facing downturns in demand for their products. Many are turning to paid social ads to generate more sales and drive deeper awareness amongst their key customers. But, where investing in paid social may appear to offer a cost-effective solution to plug a gap in sales, companies must consider who their customers are, what they need and where the brand can offer added value, before launching any paid activations.
Social media networks provide a host of tools to capture potential customers’ attention. When paid advertising works well, it works in favour of both the brand and the consumer. However, in times like this, where 60% of UK consumers are spending less on non-essentials to cope (Source: ONS), companies have added responsibilities to their existing and potential customers to approach paid social and targeting with careful consideration.
In the coming months, the factor that will define how successfully companies use paid activations to accelerate growth and continue to shape their reputation on social media amidst the crisis, will be the emphasis, investment and time placed on collecting smart customer and audience insights to inform these activations. Knowing as much as possible about their audience will enable brands to adapt to changing customer behaviours, target different groups with relevant messages, and reach an ever-evolving group of prospective customers.
If you’d like advice on your current social media strategy, get in touch!