(Note: This story appears in the December issue of STOREROTICA Magazine)

*Story by Dianna Stratton

The pandemic has changed many things in 2020. Most notably for our industry, it has created a significant behavioral change where consumers seek new ways to pass time while limiting their public exposure. Not only have pleasure product sales increased throughout the industry, people are spending more time online, and in particular on social media.

In April, a consumer behavior survey from Numerator indicated a 64% increase in how much time respondents were spending on social media. In periods of uncertainty, people want to connect, safely.

Have your business’s social media pages adapted to meet your audience’s changing needs? Is your social media generating brand awareness, influencing leads, and driving sales?

Here are some best social media practices to ensure your business will continue to flourish throughout the pandemic and beyond.

Store operations
If store operations have changed, your store’s social media profile should reflect those changes. Be certain that all contact information is correct, particularly the store’s address, phone number and hours of operation. There’s nothing worse than a customer showing up to your front door, only to find out your store hours have changed.

Open and transparent communication is the key to retaining consumer loyalty and trust. If there are options for safer in-store shopping or even remote shopping via video conferencing, consider adding a pinned post (on Twitter and Facebook or a Highlight on Instagram) explaining how customers can utilize these services. This will assure your customers that you are taking their health concerns as seriously as they are.

Content relevance
When it comes to quality social media content, helping beats selling. Good social media communication should inform, inspire, educate, or entertain. Great content, content your audience will like, comment on, or share, is often a clever mix of those values. Likes, comments, and shares are the key to unlocking algorithms and getting your content seen by more people.

Be sure to adapt your content to our current reality. Consumers may find images of pre-coronavirus public crowds without masks to be shocking. Instead, promote images that support current health mandates. Your business could even encourage mask wearing as a means to prevent further infectious disease spread. As a sex-positive industry, conversations that encourage mask wearing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus echo the value of wearing condoms to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections. A recent Eldorado post that reminded the audience that masks “go over the nose” was shared more than 80 times.

While the pleasure products industry is not at the center of the pandemic conversation, the relevance of masturbation is a very appropriate coronavirus-adjacent topic. Masturbation is not only medically proven to relieve stress, it’s a sensational opportunity (pun intended) for socially distant self-care. Be sure to educate your customers on the sexual health and wellness value of masturbation and recommend products that help them to experience a new or different sensation.

Adapt or perish
HG Wells once wrote, “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.”

In 2020, social media is essential to maintaining connection and engagement with your customer base. Even though consumers are being inundated with digital information from every direction, social media channels that provide comfort in challenging times will improve customer relationships, even at a distance. If your social media pages only promote products, you won’t build the consumer funnel that drives business to your store. Expect that whatever social media content that previously worked for your business and whenever was best to share that content may change and keep changing. By keeping your content relevant to the changing times and accurate for the changing needs, you encourage your audience to engage with your business. By paying attention to the pulse of the audience through social listening, you can be assured the content you share is meaningful to your customers and appropriate for the times.

Dianna Stratton is the Marketing Communications Strategist for Eldorado Trading Company. Before joining Eldorado in 2017, she previously worked in the healthcare and educational fields. Dianna received a Master’s in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University in 2012. She specializes in writing and digital marketing.