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3 Tips To Tailor Your Social Content and Strategy

To be completely candid, life is weird right now. We’re all living at a greater distance from one another than usual, and we’re spending more time in digital spaces than real ones. Needless to say, our sense of normalcy is shifting – which means our approaches to social should shift, too.

Here are three tips for how you can adapt what your brand is doing in the social space to effectively and appropriately respond to what’s going on in the world.

  1. Customize your approach, strategy, content and tone to the current media climate based on your unique brand and industry position

    When thinking through how to adapt your brand’s messaging and strategies to current events, it’s important to first acknowledge who your brand is on its own. Whether you’re a forward-focused tech company, a whimsical plant shop or an edgy clothing store, you have both a personality and knowledge about your audience that is unique to your brand and your brand alone. So take a moment to think about what that is in your case. When you have a clear sense of who your brand and you put what you know about your audience at the forefront, you can more confidently navigate the current news climate and new cultural norms to inform your communication approach. 

    Think about your brand’s mission, values, and place in the industry. Consider how your audience perceives your brand generally, and during these unprecedented times. Determine what unique value your brand has to offer -- if it has something meaningful to offer right now -- and ensure communication of that value is consistent across all places you show up, like your website, the press, social media, and more. As the news and culture climate shift, people swarm to social to continue the conversation, so it’s important to maintain a united front made of clear and consistent messages from your brand.  

    Coffee brand Lavazza is using social to share that they’ve donated over 50,000 bags of coffee to healthcare and public safety workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The brand has also adapted their messaging to reflect an at-home focus, encouraging users to showcase their at-home coffee set ups and ask their coffee questions to create opportunities for two-way engagement. 


    Image from iOS (18)
    Image from iOS (17)


    Putting insights about their audience at the center,
    Apple & Eve adapted their content pillars to meet new needs. For example, the brand is sharing recipes, activities and crafts parents can try at home with their kids on their Instagram. By leaning into crafts made from materials most parents already have at home and providing fun activity ideas for kids, the brand was able to adapt their social messaging to current stay-at-home lifestyles with a small adjustment to their existing strategy on their social channels.

    Vagisil
    chose to focus content on thanking essential workers, given their brand’s women’s health-related mission. Maintaining their illustrator-style Instagram posts, the brand was able to create content directly related to Coronavirus while weaving in their signature brand style and remaining true to their core values.
    Vagisil

    This shows that while much is being talked about regarding Coronavirus, brands can find their unique voice and value in the conversation. 

  2. Leverage social listening and monitor competitors to keep an accurate pulse on the landscape

    Once you’ve determined strategically how to pivot your messaging, it’s equally important to keep a continual pulse on the cultural landscape to ensure what you’re sharing is timely and well-received. That’s why on a monthly, weekly and even daily basis, you should actively participate in both news monitoring and social listening. Doing so will cue you into what people are talking about, how they’re talking about it, and continue to identify where your brand’s voice may be able to add value. A message that feels appropriate to post or respond with one day might need to be reevaluated the next within the ever-shifting news and cultural landscape. Helpful tools like Sprout, NetBase, and Google Alerts can help inform your content reevaluation cycles. 

    It’s also important to note that right now, every brand is facing the challenge of navigating the new terrain that is COVID-19. So just as we should all keep up with what is being shared in the news and by consumers on social, it is imperative that your brand also tracks competitor activity in your industry as another input for understanding the current landscape. By tuning in to what other brands are doing, you can learn from their successes and missteps and better understand what consumers may be seeing or needing from brands like yours -- most importantly helping you identify the whitespace for your brand. 

  3. Experiment with new social formats and content types

    At the end of the day, this is new territory for all of us. We can plan and strategize to the best of our abilities, but one of the most sure-fire ways of determining what resonates most with your audience on social media is through experimentation. 

    Now, especially, is a time to be understanding, empathetic and real with the world on social. Leaning into more raw, authentic content that feels less polished and more organic is a strong way to reach audiences in a time where we’re all looking to connect and relate. Take late night show hosts for example. Many hosts have ditched highly produced segments to embrace DIY iPhone videos recorded at home. 

    Instagram is one platform that touts many tools brands can use to test out a more real and raw approach, and at the same time engage with and learn about your audience. Most notably, this includes Instagram Stories. From adding stickers and GIFs to stories to allowing polls, questions and countdowns, these various tactics can help brands feel more authentic on their social channels and create a two-way dialogue. 

    Additionally, Instagram Live and IGTV are other ways your brand can create longer-form content that enables connection with viewers on a deeper level.

    By experimenting with new social formats and content types, you can not only try new approaches and tactics to leverage on social during this difficult time, but determine what your audience most positively responds to. The proof is in the pudding. Or in this case, the engagement.

We hope these three tips help you navigate shifting social for your brand. If you want to dig into any of them further, or would like to chat through other questions your brand is facing, drop us a line. Learn more about our social media marketing service.

Also, check out our guide to COVID-19 community management.

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Google Search Trends Insights December 2020

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for December 2020. Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+. After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month. The Last Month of 2020 It’s been quite a year, eh? After November with all of the election query volume, we weren’t sure we’d have the energy to craft another examination of Google Trends data. Thankfully, if we learned anything from this year, we know that we are more resilient than we ever imagined and we have the strength to write as many articles as needed to close out the year. Even though December didn’t have an election, there were plenty of things that people found interesting and turned to Google to find more information. Here are the highlights from the data we collected from Google Trends. December Doodles The keyword phrases with the most queries were all attached to Google Doodles in December 2020. They were the only phrases reported as having 10 million plus queries. Sudan the last male northern white rhino - 12/19/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries Winter Solstice Great Conjunction - 12/20/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries New Year's Eve - 12/30/2020 - 10,000,000+ queries Each of these phrases were connected to a Doodle that sat at the top of Google.com. Every click on the Doodle drove users to the Google result page with the phrase populated in the search box. The case and the punctuation are copied exactly as they are reported in Google Trends so if the phrase has multiple words in lowercase, that’s what we report here. The first keyword is related to the ongoing rhino conservation efforts and the dangers of extinction. With Jupiter and Saturn appearing close to each other in the sky, there was a Doodle created to celebrate a vision that has not been seen in almost 800 years. Lastly, Google had a Doodle up for NYE. The AMP team finds it interesting that the days of the query volume are shifted one day ahead of the actual event (Example: New Year’s Eve is December 31st, not December 30th). This shift in the data may be due to how Google Trends is measuring the beginning and ending of days. An earlier start time could account for this shift. Holidays December is known for its holidays. Here are the phrases that we categorized as Holiday terms. Best Buy - 12/14/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries Santa Tracker - 12/23/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries Merry Christmas wishes - 12/23/2020 - 500,000+ queries Merry Christmas - 12/24/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries Restaurants open on Christmas - 12/24/2020 - 500,000+ queries Happy New Year 2021 - 12/30/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries Ball Drop 2021 - 12/31/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries Best Buy made the list because they had sold out of gaming consoles and were restocking on the 15th. The Santa Tracker is a perennial favorite, but is the popularity waning? Search query volume for this phrase peaked in December 2018. Santa may need a little more PR next year. Along with the other Christmas phrases, we saw the utilitarian phrase of  “Restaurants open on Christmas” made the top 3. We hope that restaurants received more orders this year as the pandemic has taken a large toll on the industry. Finally, there were more New Year’s Eve queries including one related to the famous ball drop. What Are We Going To Watch? We saw a good number of queries related to streaming video content. Here’s the list of shows and movies that were noteworthy in December. Selena Netflix - 12/3/2020 - 500,000+ queries Mandalorian - 12/18/2020 - 2,000,000+ queries Mandalorian - 12/18/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries The Midnight Sky - 12/23/2020 - 500,000+ queries Soul - 12/24/2020 - 1,000,000+ queries Wonder Woman 1984 - 12/25/2020 - 5,000,000+ queries The Mandalorian’s Season 2 finale was so popular that it made the top 3 twice (somehow) on the 18th. Glitches like this one are not new to the AMP team, but we report them just the same.  The big winner appears to be Wonder Woman 1984, which received the most query volume of any video content related phrase. 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