As we enter the month of June, it also signifies the end of the circuit breaker measures in Singapore which was first implemented on April 7th. While we move into Phase 1 of the post circuit breaker measures, many things have changed in the past 2 months. Similarly, we also see a change in consumer behaviour in response to the pandemic, most notably in the platforms being used during circuit breaker.
The obvious trend has been the major shift to going digital. A quote from the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) sums it up nicely, “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, going digital isn’t a just a luxury anymore—it’s a necessity.” We see more business and brands becoming active online but what platforms exactly are audiences using post circuit breaker? In this article, we cover a few platforms that have seen a surge in user activity and breakdown which ones your business should consider using.
The social video platform has taken the world by storm with the app surpassing 2 billion downloads worldwide entertaining many during the quarantine period. The app has always been on an upward momentum but 2020 has been the most successful period for the platform with more users joining every day due to the pandemic. While initially dominated by teenagers, the popular app has also seen a growing number for older audiences joining the bandwagon, with Millennials, Gen X, and even Boomers getting involved. Celebrities have also joined in on the fun too with comedians, actors and singers creating content on the app as well. Everyone wants a piece of the pie and more brands have recently started using the platform to create both organic and paid content.
TikTok’s virality is nothing to scoff at. The app has boasted high engagement rates of up to 52.1%, and this can be valuable if your brand is looking to build a loyal fan base. Despite the video ranking algorithm for the app still being kept secret and our understanding of it is vague at best, many videos have gone viral with the use of several hashtags and appropriate sound/song selection. For example, the makeup brand Elf cosmetics launched a sponsored hashtag challenge campaign, #eyeslipsface, that included an original song spelling out their brand’s initials. The brand saw great success with the campaign with over nearly 18,000 TikTok videos to date using the song “Eyes Lips Face,” and collectively the videos tagged with #eyeslipsface have been viewed nearly 1.2 billion times. Imagine the amount of publicity this campaign managed to bring for Elf Cosmetics!
The secret behind the success of this campaign can be attributed to the fact the challenge did not hard sell any Elf products and did not feel out of place from the other organic content being posted on the app. Many brands have since taken to advertising on TikTok but the trick here is to produce advertisements that do not feel like an advertisement. If you’re a brand looking to leverage on the platform, take note of this and you may very well find yourself launching the next successful campaign on TikTok.
Using these two social media giants is a no brainer for most businesses, as Facebook still remains the most popular social media platform alongside Instagram which ranks number 3. Facebook has been the leading platform for people to receive news during Covid-19 and with the high number of active users daily, there is an endless potential of new customers your business can reach out to on the platform. Similarly, Instagram has also high daily active users (though not as much as Facebook) with the only difference being Instagram having a younger audience demographic.
Aside from setting up your business pages on both platforms and running Facebook ads, you should also consider using Facebook’s new feature called Shops that works on both platforms. The feature will allow businesses to create digital storefronts where they can host ‘catalogues’ of their products, with links to purchase the product either on the retailer’s website or directly within Facebook. This function also makes it easier for your business to reach out to potential customers, old or new, and also can help drive sales if that happens to be your business objective. Shops are different from the already existing Marketplace with Shops being focused on businesses and Marketplace being more for selling off personal items, similar to Carousell and eBay.
Despite economic disruptions caused by the pandemic, eCommerce has also been on the rise and booming as most businesses go online and this is not only limited to businesses selling essential products. Using Facebook’s new feature and couple that with running Facebook ads, this strategy may help your business target more customers and expand your reach. This new feature will have an even more prominent presence on Instagram with a dedicated Instagram Shop button taking up residence on users’ navigation bars on the app home screen. Facebook also has plans to roll out Shops across Facebook’s social chat apps WhatsApp and Messenger further down the line. It’s a fairly new feature but businesses should start seizing the opportunity early to start getting used to Facebook’s new features as it shows promising signs of developing and growing more in the future.
So much has changed within a month and consumers have also adapted to the new “normal” life we’re facing every day as we stay at home. New trends have emerged and while COVID-19 has disrupted many opportunities, it has also introduced new ones. We hope our tips above can help your business reach out to your audience better post circuit breaker. While it’s great that we’ve moved past the circuit breaker phase, we should all do our best to continue flattening the curve and practice good hygiene. Happy end of circuit breaker everyone, continue to stay home and stay safe.
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