In times of economic downturn, businesses across the country face challenges as spending habits decline and competition increases. When it comes to social media marketing, businesses are able to boost their online presence in a time where it may be most necessary. The world of online marketing can be a powerful place which, if utilised correctly, can provide increased recognition and greater opportunity, even during an economic downturn.

What is an economic downturn?

The phrase ‘downturn’ refers to a period of economic decline in which businesses may experience significant implications as a result. These periods often stem from factors similar to a decline in business activity, decreased profitability or a decline in sales occurring across the UK’s economy.

The importance of social media marketing during a downturn

During any economic downturn, the knee-jerk reaction felt appropriate by a vast number of businesses across the country is to cut back on costs. The idea shared is that spending less will allow the decline in sales to balance out. Whilst this may seem practical in the short-term, it could be damaging in the long-run.

Social media marketing provides a way of reaching your target audience through a cost-effective approach. Consumers of all products across the country spend a fair amount of time on the internet, and during an economic downturn, this level only increases. Marketing your services or products successfully across social platforms will allow you to maintain presence in the mind of your clients, whilst building your brand awareness.

Let’s look into an example which may be recognisable and possibly relatable to a lot of us.

Our most recent, and arguably the most impactful economic downturn in a large period of time was the COVID-19 pandemic. This period of time saw businesses across the country learning first-hand about the importance of online presence. In a working world which became for the most part digital, a successful online presence became the goal. Refraining from the knee-jerk reaction of cutting spend didn’t come easy to all, but to those who mastered the phase into social media marketing witnessed their business come out of the pandemic more successfully.

How to be successful in social media marketing

To be successful in your social media marketing, there are some crucial steps which you should make sure you are regularly ticking off.

  • Identify and locate your audience. Find the platform where you are most likely to find your client base and use it. From Facebook to TikTok, there are so many social media platforms to choose from. It can be daunting to pick the right ones for your particular brand and the specific audience you want to reach, which is why knowing who you want to talk to (your target demographic) is crucial. For example, whilst LinkedIn is a business-to-business (B2B) platform aimed at business owners and professionals to help them network, Instagram is more commonly used by direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands.

If you are a visual brand, Facebook and Instagram may be most suited to your content.  Whereas if your content is snappy, quick and to the point, Twitter and LinkedIn may be a better choice for your business. The key thing to remember is to go where your audience is – where do your customers most spend their time online?

  • Allocate time. Don’t let the day get ahead of you. Social media marketing could hold the same level of importance as your other roles, so be sure you leave enough time to elevate your online presence.
  • Utilise multiple platforms. Don’t limit yourself to one platform. There are a wide collection available! You can also share content across multiple social media platforms. For example, if you post a video on TikTok, you could post that same video on Instagram and Twitter. It not only saves time, but it also allows you to reach a wider audience too. By sharing your content on multiple platforms, you’re increasing the chances that people will see it and engage with it.
  • Post regularly. Don’t let interest fade. Posting regular updates will keep you at the forefront of your client’s minds.
  • Interaction is key! – Whether you interact with other businesses or your own clients, you will be able to reap the benefits. Social media provides businesses with a direct line of communication to their customers. By actively interacting with users, businesses can respond to inquiries, address concerns, and provide support. This level of engagement helps build trust and loyalty, leading to long-term customer relationships. Interaction can also help widen your reach and raise further awareness of your products and service, not to mention build your reputation and brand image. Social media interactions can also drive traffic and therefore, contribute to lead generation.
  • Remember to reflect your brand identity. Even if social media marketing is new to you, don’t lose sight of who you are, and what you represent. It is important that your brand identity is carried across social platforms.
  • Keep track of your results. If you can pinpoint elements which don’t work well, and others which appear to be effective, you can create an increasingly successful online presence.

At Bells Accountants, we are on hand to provide you with advice and support when it comes to economic downturns. We specialise in helping small businesses navigate through challenging times with our accountancy services. Give us a call on 020 8468 1087 or send us an email at to talk through the ways in which we can help you.