Role of Social Media Influencers in helping during Covid-19.
By MOHAMMAD SHAHZAD
Influencer marketing is among many industries that have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. With sponsor deals shutting down, trips cancelled and events postponed the once booming influencer industry is going through a curious time. The rise of a global pandemic is prompting brands and companies to pause and evaluate their marketing strategies, from traditional ad placements to influencer marketing. Now is the time to stop and think about where your marketing dollars are being spent. Social media usage among consumers has seen a sharp increase during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to data from Kantar , social media engagement “in later stages of the pandemic” has increased by 61 percent over normal usage rates. The use of video platforms is also steadily increasing, and we’re seeing celebrities and brands leveraging Instagram Live to entertain and connect with their audiences. Just in March, Tik Tok saw a 27 percent increase in downloads from February, with 6.2 million downloads. During this unprecedented event, trusted social media influencers continue to be a reliable source of information and an effective, authentic way to communicate with your audience. They found 63 percent of 18-to-34-year-old trust what an influencer says about a brand more than what the brand says about itself in advertising. We also know influencers earn trust, advocacy and ultimately sales for brands. However, influencer marketing is only the right path forward if you’re doing it for the right reasons and in partnership with trusted influencers. Working with trusted voices has always been important, but it has never been more critical than it is today. The decisions you make now will have long-term effects on your brand. In fact, 71 percent of those surveyed for the, agreed that brands and companies seen placing profits before people during this crisis will lose their trust forever. They execute a compassionate, authentic influencer marketing strategy in a Covid-19 world by this way, Audience integration.
Recently, two individuals, Azeema Ilyas and Syed Faizan Raza Rizvi , started running daily ration challenges on their social media handles, with a different target every day. “The idea was to do multiple fundraising challenges. Each challenge had a minimum target to achieve for a specific drive. Once that target was achieved, I moved on to the next challenge. These challenges were carried out on Twitter and Instagram” Throughout each challenge, we kept updating people on the amount raised and how much was left through our social channels. This is what kept people involved, and how we often had the same donors donating twice and even thrice because they wanted us to complete the challenge. Through the help of their friends and social media family, they’d always achieve their targets, that started small but eventually ranged between Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000 daily. To name a few, Matthieu Paley, a National Geographic Photographer; Jahan Yousuf, one half of the Krewella, the popular EDM duo; and actors and models Sajal Aly, Ayeza Khan, Minaal Khan, Sadaf Kanwal, Ainy Joffrey, Eman Suleman, Sohai Ali Abro and Mansha Pasha. Rizvi says their initiative has managed to have a far-reaching impact, this comes down to 1000 families served so far, each with an average of 6 members.” The fundraising campaign is inching closer to their targets, while also looking for ways to further expand the model and keep the momentum going so that they can help more people during Ramadan. It’s difficult to flag areas and localities that need support, so the team doesn’t carry out ration drives themselves, they pick drives that are already happening and need help. “The drives that we help are either vouched for by mutual friends or have preexisting credibility in the community so we know the money is being used right. Some of these are by proper organizations, and some of these are individual efforts.” People also identify areas and families that need help, so they reach out to people on the ground and ensure those areas are served. “Particularly for areas surrounding Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Lahore, the core team members are reaching out to people themselves to deliver ration. These people are referred to us by our personal contacts. We first check with the organizations we have helped if they can cover those families if they can’t then our team members take up the task them. The campaign supports multiple drives all over the country through funds, so there isn’t a standard ration package. But they more or less all have the same essentials: Flour, rice, pulses, sugar, oil, tea, powdered milk, spices, soap.
Fitness creators are seeing spikes in traffic to their pages. Videos of home workouts have already garnered millions of views on You tube. With gyms closed, people are flocking to fitness influencers on sites like Instagram and YouTube so they might stay fit during the pandemic. Since fitness influencers often promote their own programs rather than relying on advertisements for revenue, they are surprisingly safe from the adverse effect on the lock-downs.