Social media for brands during lockdown - how to adapt to the new normal

The Drum 08 Apr 2020 02:01
By Chris Adams-08 April 2020 15:01pm

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

As pandemic-induced social distancing pushes people to the confines of their own home, all we can say is, “thank God we have the internet to help pass the time”.

During lockdown people have embraced social media to the point whereby we’ve registered an unprecedented rise in screen time, a 25% increase in engagement on Instagram and TikTok in the past month and a staggering 72% increase on #ad content by influencers.

Here’s three themes we recommend brands to consider on social during this weird, weird time:

Research was conducted by Kantar that found the majority of the population (92%) did not think that brands should stop advertising all together during the crisis. However, for a brand that does choose to communicate to audiences about the crisis, then its messaging must be supportive of local governments’ and health organisations, while staying true to their brand values.

  • Crocs gives away free Clogs to health workers
  • Gymshark campaigns to raise funds for freelance PTs
  • JBL adapts logo to encourage people to #StayHome
  • Pornhub offers free premium subscription worldwide

Put your audience first

Make it authentic and keep it real

Right now, people cannot relate to million dollar sets, beautiful models and hyper-realistic settings; they are sitting at home with a shirt on the top half and pyjamas on the bottom.

Be interactive

Know where your audience is spending their time

One we’d really like to highlight is that of the Houseparty App. It had two million downloads worldwide in the past week, and was ranked number one in most downloaded apps in 17 countries including the UK, Spain and Italy - three of the most heavily locked down countries in Europe. If you can combine a way to entertain through apps like Houseparty with our tip: “keep it authentic and homemade”, we think you can roll up your sleeves and get creative in between your own four walls and host some live video chat content with your users or influencers!

For our industry, the outbreak of Covid-19 marks a time when us, creatives and marketers, can no longer rely on big-scale production for content. This shift already started to happen in recent years, but it has now officially ground to a halt with everyone on the same level playing field as each other.

Face filters, branded effects and GIFs

Our latest GIFs for Crocs Europe are engaging people sitting at home. With over 225,000 views in a week, these GIFs are enticing to use whilst on lockdown.

We think real life feels like a thing of the past even after just one week of social distancing. AR and VR experiences bring the outside world inside and as well as giving people a taste of what things are like outside of their four walls, AR/VR experiences add a level of interactivity that we are all craving whilst sitting at home.

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter/Periscope, TikTok and Twitch are all platforms that have seen the use of the Live function double in the past week. We can laugh at the fact that it took a pandemic for these functions to really take off but it is one of the most valued features for homegrown content for brands today.


Chris Adams, CEO of Hey Honey

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