With the pandemic keeping most of us indoors, people across the globe are spending more time online, especially on social media. A global survey (conducted by GWI) of over 13,000 consumers concluded that between 16th-20th March, 95% of consumers were spending more time on in-home media consumption.
Facebook said that it had seen users increase their time spent on the app by 50% and global Twitter conversations about COVID-19 quadrupled in March.
With this in mind, a lot of companies have scrapped their original strategies and are quite rightly reacting and adapting to these ever-changing times. In fact, only 14% of UK marketing campaigns are now continuing as planned.
The ongoing global pandemic has triggered many changes in social media behaviour and brands’ strategies, and a lot of companies, especially within the leisure and tourism sector, have reined in their spend. But if social media viewers are more engaged than ever, what are they spending their time doing?
According to a Globalwebindex report published this month (April 2020), 48% of social media users within the UK and US say they are using social media to read news. However, the same report stated that only 14% of users trust the news they’re reading on social media, while 51% said they found their government website to be the most trustworthy source.
A study conducted by Ofcom suggests that nearly half of UK adults have been exposed to fake news about the outbreak.
Could social media simply be inundating us with the same news, leading users to fact-check on more trustworthy sites?
According to a Globalwebindex study, 74% of Gen Z say they want fact-checked information to be shared on social media. If this is the case, is this something businesses could be doing to assist their customers by gathering information from trusted sources first?
So, what else are people using social media for and how can marketers use this information to influence their own marketing?
What we do know is that Facebook and Instagram are the most used social media apps, with 66% of social media users taking to Facebook during this time and 44% taking to Instagram.
The best performing posts on Facebook are proving to be about what companies are doing to help fight coronavirus or what they are doing to help their employees.
Something else to bear in mind is that interestingly (but not surprisingly), the use of imagery of human interaction has declined by 27.4% in social ads since the start of the pandemic. So, instead of showing people hugging or shaking hands, brands are choosing images which display hygiene, such as washing hands or wearing a mask.
It’s certainly clear that people all over the world are using social media more now than they ever were before the COVID-19 outbreak. And, while brands must remember to remain sensitive with their marketing, this is an opportunity to provide users with the content they both want and need.