As we enter the final quarter of 2020 with the coronavirus pandemic still holding cities and provinces in the country under quarantine, the things of the past remain to be parked in the past, and the ways we used to go about our day are no longer the norm.
Eight months and 375,000 total cases since we had first gotten news of the nationwide quarantine measures, the implementation of these health and safety policies serve to contain the virus from spreading any further than it already has. Face masks and face shields, thermal scanners, the habitual spritzes of alcohol, contact tracing forms, and social distancing — these are going to stay for the foreseeable future with no end of the pandemic in sight.
With the nation having had to deal with a variety of challenges (like motorcycle barriers and the PhilHealth corruption), social media platforms — without a shadow of doubt — have played an even more impactful role in the Philippines. In an April 2020 report by Hootsuite and We Are Social, it is noted that 64 percent of Filipinos on the internet are spending more time on social media, while 23 percent of these users stated that they have noticed an increase in online shopping as well. Having to deal with a curfew from 5 AM to 8 PM and limitations on travel, such as the ban on public transportation, people had to look for solutions.
Social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, among others, have been the key for the survival and sanity of many Filipinos during the pandemic. Mom-and-pop shops, for example, can utilize it as a way to engage their audience. A community-based Facebook group, on the other hand, can be used to promote and advertise products and services within the same location, like a subdivision or barangay. These groups can also be used to help covid patients and survivors as they battle the isolation and psychological struggle of having the virus. That being said, it is absolutely essential for any brand or business to be on social media, especially in such challenging times. Visibility is important.
As a social media management company, here are three reasons for any business to include social media in their digital marketing strategy:
- Your clients are on social media
- Your business needs authenticity
- Your clients want a quick response
Social Media Marketing During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Per Statcounter, 85.15 percent of Filipinos are on Facebook as of September 2020, annualized. If that number cannot emphasize enough how integrated social media is into our everyday culture, then it can only serve to justify our nation’s title; the “Social Media Capital of the World.” In the same Digital 2020 Global Overview, it is reported that Filipino internet users spend an average of four hours and twelve minutes a day on social media, with Facebook being the primary platform.
Electoral issues, troll farms, and propagandist mechanisms aside, these figures highlight the impact of Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild on the Filipino people; it is part of our daily activities. Given that LGU-authorized passes were necessary for one to go out during the initial iteration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), family members who could not leave their homes had more opportunity to use Facebook. Whether it was for leisure, social interaction, to check for the news (relevant to the ABS-CBN shutdown), or to shop for goods (or barter) and search for certain home services, there was extra time to be on the internet and scrolling through a newsfeed. Imagine more than 76 million active social media users.
For many micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, the economic implications due to physical distancing and reduced travel resulted in the closure, whether temporary or permanent, of many establishments and stores. The tourism, travel, and events industries have taken the biggest hits in revenue. Layoffs among these organizations have been massive. Meanwhile, drive-thru, delivery, and scheduled pickups have become the solution for most food businesses. Local home cooks have grown in demand. More bicycles are seen on the streets. Online payments and the use of mobile banking apps, alongside courier and delivery services, have become more prevalent than ever, as well. And other types of businesses that were fortunate enough to continue operations, like those in repair services and retail electronics, for example, could pivot online and reallocate their resources towards building their e-commerce sites.
Data from the iPrice Group’s e-commerce report shows that the Philippines had a 53 percent increase in its usage of online shopping apps in the second quarter of 2020. Compared to six other ASEAN countries, this exhibits the highest increase in usage — an evident manifestation of consumer behavior during the extended quarantine period. Social media’s role here is located in the influence that users create, wherein they can provide reviews and raise customer-related concerns regarding the businesses they engage in, or the sellers they interact with. Social media influencers and Youtube vloggers are an example.
Life Continues: A Transformative Age for Digital
For the business owner, effective digital marketing is all about understanding your audience online and knowing how to respond in a way that your brand’s voice stays real and genuine. In a year characterized by a global pandemic, social media can only continue to play a key role in shaping and reshaping the Philippine digital landscape. There is time to grow. Allow us to help you build your brand’s online presence and generate the leads that your business deserves.