With the nation taking Step 1 to recover from the coronavirus crisis, in this opinion piece, Hello Social strategy director Joshua Tan shares his thoughts on how businesses, people and creativity can persevere and rebuild during this economic crisis….
The ripples of the dreaded c-word have reached and are felt in all corners of the globe (except Antarctica with 0 cases reported). Until people far smarter and altruistic than I develop a vaccine, I don’t foresee this rollercoaster coming to a halt. After all, it takes just one unsuspecting sneeze to trigger the chain reaction.
With step one in motion, we are slowly seeing the light at the end of this very dark tunnel. But until we can shed our masks safely, here are my 3 suggestions to help businesses, people and creativity power through the aftermath.
- Business in the now
I anticipate businesses focusing on increasing their bottom line more so than ever. With the end of the financial year looming, businesses have to be strategic in which baskets to place their eggs. The coronavirus, if anything, was a cold hard (hopefully sanitised) slap to the face and accelerated the need for businesses to go digital.
Realistically, not every business can adopt a 100% digital model – not as quick as a global pandemic warrants. But it’s only a matter of time before the mere idea of walking becomes a thing of the past.
In the meantime, what can businesses do to quickly drive revenue and subsequently get teams back into their workforce? Be where your customers are.
We’ve been orbiting our phones long before the pandemic hit and according to GlobalWebIndex, have increased our revolutions by 76%. And the most common tiles you’ll find on anyone’s home screens are social media apps.
It’s unsurprising. The social media giants are constantly innovating to keep users glued to their platforms. The more a user invests, the harder it is to remove one’s self for FOMO.
Back to growing the bottom line. For businesses looking to drive conversions through social media, you need to first understand why people would care about what you have to say. Then, utilising the platform’s tools to your advantage.
If you’re trading goods, explore the latest ‘Shops’ feature that just launched across Facebook and Instagram. If you’re offering a service, explore going ‘Live’ and monetizing your content. That’s the first piece to the puzzle.
The next part to the equation is running your content through the right performance streams. This is the real money maker as you can be targeted with who you need to reach and consequently get more dollars into tills.
On the topic of digital, there has been much talk around the feasibility of remote working. Some businesses like Optus, Twitter, Westpac and even the Public Sector have opted to make it a possible permanent gig. Yes, we’ll see lower overheads and reduced risks at the workplace.
But the real winner is…
- People get more out of life
Less time commuting, less time spent in irrelevant meetings, less time deciding what to have for lunch.
Plus, you also save on working expenditures. You wouldn’t need as many work clothes (business pyjamas, you heard it here first), there isn’t as much social obligation to go through the daily ritual of looking presentable or indulge in work-related entertainment (who needs that 5th after-work beer anyways).
I won’t touch on accountability and camaraderie because that needs to be instilled regardless if you’re in the office or on the moon. Though there are many positives, remote working may hinder the creative process.
What happens when physical rooms become virtual?
- Creativity ends with the host
From what we’ve seen in the past few weeks, granted there’s a bloody pandemic happening in our peripherals, we’ve seen a fair bit of sameness in the creative direction of ads.
I get it. It’s a catch-22. You have to say something to stay relevant and say it tastefully at that. ‘We’ not ‘me’. Viewed in isolation (my best pun, yet), they are all solid brand ads.
Is there another way brands can engage their customers on a deeper level?
You guessed it: social media. There’s no big-budget production required. Just a mobile phone, some talented minds and a great idea. As with all social content, it needs to be engaging and tonally in tune to what’s happening around us.
An example is Steak-umm who is probably one of the most ‘woke’ brands as it tweets its thoughts on sharing C-19 misinformation across social media.
The beauty of social media is that it’s one of the only mediums a brand can have a meaningful 2-way conversation with its consumers. And when done right, can become a viral sensation.
For now, to emulate the classic brainstorm session to get the creative juices flowing, Whiteboardfox is a nice intermediary solution. When paired with a video conferencing app, the easy-to-use collaborative digital whiteboard is as close to the real thing. I’m sure most can attest to the power of a few squiggly lines.
What happens next?
Before we pack our bags and start a civilisation in Antarctica, it feels like life is slowly resuming to some sense of normalcy. It’s going to be a slow uphill climb but like the many ads that depict the same sameness, we’ll get through this, together.
I for one, am looking forward to that 5th after-work beer.
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