All of us have lived through economic downturns before (unless you were born in 2010), but none of us have lived through a global pandemic. Some economists have said that not only were we overdue for an economic recession, but with COVID-19 being a “black swan” event, they have no idea exactly how the rest of the year – or the years to come – will unfold.
Studies have shown that brands (and thereby influencers) who continue advertising during tough times end up faring significantly better than companies who withdraw and cut their marketing budget. For example, during the Great Depression, there were two main cereal brands: Kellogg’s and Post. They each had very different strategies: Post cut their advertising budget significantly and Kellogg’s doubled their ad budget. By the late 30’s, Kellogg’s profits had grown 30% and they became the industry leader they are today.
This is why remaining relevant as a brand is more important than ever – and if you’re an influencer, consider yourself a brand as well. Many social media accounts, whether they are businesses or creators, are taking hiatuses from their Instagram accounts at this time. This can be for a lot of different reasons – lack of content, the need to detox from social media, needing to prioritize other things, or simply lacking the motivation to post at all. All of these reasons are valid, but they come at a cost – you potentially lose your social media market share.
I recently took a week-long break from Instagram to focus on myself and other professional pursuits, as well as to see if people would still follow me and engage if I wasn’t posting new content. I went from gaining an average of 40 followers a day to actually losing followers. And that was after just 48 hours of not posting and engaging with other accounts. After the week was up, I went back to engaging and posting as before, but my engagement took a significant hit – my impressions were significantly lower, mostly due to a decrease in hashtag views.
It all comes back to staying relevant in tough economic times. With more people on social media for longer periods of time, NOW is the time to amp up your digital advertising strategy! How can you provide value to your followers during this time? Can you keep them informed about what your brand is doing to help out during the crisis? Can you distract them with funny or entertaining content? Can you inspire them to try a new recipe or hobby? Consumers and businesses will remember how you responded during the COVID-19 crisis. What do you want them to think of when they hear or read your name?
Are you going to be a brand that brings your community together and engages, or are you going to stay silent, potentially facing the consequences of not posting during this hour of need?
If you’re interested in upping your Instagram game, feel free to shoot me an email and we can set up a time to chat!