People working from home as a result of the global pandemic are making even more concentrated use of the Internet and social media, providing a potential boost to engagement on these platforms. A Pew Research survey conducted before the pandemic showed that 72% of U.S. adults made some use of social media. Among Facebook users, seven in ten checked in daily — and nearly half of them several times a day. Internet use in general has skyrocketed as a result of the virus.
Meanwhile, the pandemic having served as a proving ground for the efficacy of remote work, as well as its cost benefits, it increasingly appears that hybrid work situations splitting time between office and home will be common after COVID-19, according to a Stanford University survey looking at the pandemic and its impact on remote work. The study also predicts that 15-18% of workers will continue working remotely altogether.
This makes it wise for organizations to innovate on strategies to communicate with their customers through online channels that will reach them where they are, social media prominent among them. Ideally, these communications should be responsible and thoughtful, create brand awareness, and grow the customer base.
Organizations that focus on building their social media engagement through strategic communication can benefit from better marketing reach and return on investment. A customer-focused social media strategy provides an opportunity to communicate with customers at a personal level that makes them feel like part of the team and builds strong brand loyalty. Leaders can draw on a wealth of research and best practices for communicating strategically, which in a corporate setting can have direct impacts on financial performance. Purdue University’s 100% online Master’s in Communication has a concentration in Integrated Communication and Advertising designed for industry professionals seeking to leverage social media channels to build branding and engagement initiatives. Purdue’s program is taught by faculty who are top researchers in the field and who also have a wealth of practical experience.
“In rapidly changing environments, effective stakeholder engagement requires a commitment to using evidence-based strategies. Communication professionals who can leverage their industry-specific expertise and combine that with current communication theory and the ability to use data to inform decision-making, are much better positioned to help their organizations meet their goals,” says Professor Bart Collins, director of the graduate program in Purdue’s Brian Lamb School of Communication.
The pandemic moved so much of life online and even as it fades online channels such as social media are going to remain integral to strategic, customer-centered communications, offering a competitive advantage to organizations who can use these channels effectively and creatively.