As a seasoned social media team, we have become accustomed to the perpetual friendly “ding” of notifications coming to our cell phones and laptops from social media networks notifying us of a comment, question or compliment that needs to be acknowledged and/or addressed with a response. Since March of this year, the frequency of “ding-ing” has become more frequent - and mostly in a good way!
The increase in social media activity is something we anticipated at DMA, knowing that with more time spent at home, a higher level of engagement with shoppers on social media channels would likely take place. With 66% of those polled by Izea Insights responding that they expected their usage to slightly increase in the event of prolonged confinement, we were validated. Now with the benefit of time and experience on our hands, let us tell you, they have more than slightly engaged AND with the virus continuing to spread, we do not expect this trend in engagement to slow down anytime soon.
Below we’ve recapped key performance statistics collected from a few of the brands we work with to further validate 1) the ROI of social media, and 2) that now is STILL not the time to ignore social media marketing for your brand if you want to be a helpful and trusted brand for shoppers.
Social Media Promotions Have Proven Successful
At the beginning of the quarantine in mid-March, we were nervous about hosting promotions on social media because we did not want to seem tone deaf or unsympathetic to the harsh realities that people were and are facing as a result of the virus. As time moved on, we realized quickly that if we were going to be helpful to our audiences on social media, we could use our promotions to bring joy and fun to people’s day.
What we found was inspiring and telling about our clients’ social media communities:
- Every year in March, Dandy hosts a National Celery Month sweepstakes. This year we didn’t want to forgo the celery-bration, so we focused the month-long campaign on elevating Duda Farm Fresh Foods as a valuable resource for shoppers to turn to for food saving tips, easy recipe inspiration, and other relevant activities for families like coloring books for both kids and parents while at home. This effort and twist in our annual routine resulted in a 191% increase in social media engagements and a 98% decrease in Cost Per Sweepstakes submissions year over year.
- While we’ve all adjusted to a new normal during COVID-19, we positioned California Giant as the go-to resource to help people make the most of their time at home by bringing them “back to the basics” with simple, easy recipes, fun at-home activities and weekly prizes. This resulted in nearly 10,000 social media engagements and a $0.02 Cost Per Engagement (CPE). Talk about effective and affordable!
Social Media Advertising Costs Have Decreased
Advertising on social media is also a tricky tactic, as self promotion is not what we recommend for brands. For example, if you noticed an advertisement with a call to action inviting you to “Follow me because I’m a farmer and I know things,” OR if you noticed an advertisement featuring a beautiful and brightly colored photo of a tasty recipe for homemade strawberry ice cream - which would you actually take the time to click?
For this reason we chose to spend our clients’ social media advertising budgets to promote the same helpful types of content we discussed previously to give our brand partners the opportunity to be a breath of fresh air and source of inspiration amidst the continued stressful news filling our feeds. In making this decision we experienced incredible engagement with advertisements from consumers who reacted positively to our empathetic approach. As a result, we experienced a 65% increase in promotion engagement compared to pre-COVID and a lower Cost Per Follow (CPF) and Cost Per Engagement (CPE) than we did before the pandemic.
If you aren’t one of our current clients you might be wondering, what does this mean for you?
As people in our industry have often struggled with the “value of social media”, we hope that our first-hand experience and data highlighted in this post, help to frame the value that social media adds to the grand scheme of your brand and your marketing efforts.
If you need help getting started or pivoting your existing social media approach, look no further than DMA’s social media team to advise you! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule time to talk about your approach to social media marketing, promotions, advertising or general positioning of your brand. We’re happy to help!