28 Sep COVID-19’s impact on social media marketing
Social media marketers have needed to act fast to adapt to the impact of COVID-19.
Optimising their (often reduced) budgets and pivoting to new content strategies to remain connected to their locked down customers.
After a year of uncertainty, it can be reassuring to take a look at the facts. So, we’ve gathered the most compelling statistics from a range of studies and surveys that have landed in our inbox over the past couple of months. Here are their key findings – and the opportunities they pose to marketers.
Time on social media has increased
As lockdown restrictions left many of us seeking connection, we turned to our smartphones and social media. This increase clustered in certain areas, with a surge in Instagram Live content and TikTok downloads. According to this data, our usage is likely to continue to a similar degree, even post lockdown.
- Stat: Globally, mobile usage has increased an average of 1 hour per day during COVID-19. Source: Ericsson Mobility Report.
- Stat: Two-thirds of consumers who follow influencers say they’re likely to continue using social media to the same extent once restrictions are lifted. Source: The Age of Influence. July 2020. GlobalWebIndex and Influencer.
- Stat: 10% of consumers who follow influencers in the U.S. have started using TikTok to follow influencers during the outbreak, rising to 17% in the UK. Source: The Age of Influence. July 2020. GlobalWebIndex and Influencer.
The opportunity for marketers: People are spending time on social media to be entertained and feel a sense of connection. Recognising this and tapping into those motivations with your social content will add value to your customer’s online experience and make them want to spend more time with it.
Ad engagement has increased
We’ve spent more time online speaking to friends, but we’ve also spent more time with influencer content and advertising. While some brands cancelled marketing campaigns at the start of lockdown, it gave those remaining fewer competitors. With fewer ads they were able to gain strong engagement levels.
- Stat: Mobile ad engagement has increased 15% during pandemic. Source: Mobile Marketer.
- Stat: Interactions with sponsored posts reached 57 million in July compared to March 2020, a rise of 5x. Source: Research by Shareablee.
The opportunity for marketers: Make the most of this boosted engagement by featuring a clear call to action on your sponsored posts and social ads. Also, leverage tools like Instagram’s shoppable tags to convert engagers.
Online shopping is booming
As bricks and mortar stores were forced to shut and consumers limited their trips out of the house, shoppers moved their purchasing online.
- Stat: August retail sales were up 3.9% year-on-year, boosted by 42.4% rise in online non-food sales. Source: Econsultancy.
- Stat: E-commerce orders were up 108% year-on-year in February. Source: Quantum Metric.
- Stat: Australian ecommerce grew more than 80 per cent year on year (YOY) in the 8 weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation. Source: Australia Post 2020 eCommerce Industry Report
- Stat: In Indonesia in May, 55% of consumers said they were shopping online more. Source: Statista
The opportunity for marketers: With more customers adopting online shopping, friction is removed from their buying journey. An inspired scroller can see something they like in a sponsored post and be redirected to their e-commerce site in seconds. This gives social marketers an opportunity to drive higher conversions. Instagram’s shoppable features take this a step further and allow social users to make purchases without even leaving the app.
Influencers form deeper connections
Social users have been spending more time with influencer content and finding value. While brands worked hard to empathise with their customers’ pandemic realities, influencers were actually living it. In sharing their daily lives, their followers identified with their shared experience.
- Stat: 1 in 4 Gen Z say creators helped influence their plans after the outbreak. Source: The Age of Influence. July 2020. GlobalWebIndex and Influencer.
- Stat: 96% of consumers who follow influencers say they’re engaging with creators more or to the same extent as before the outbreak. Source: The Age of Influence. July 2020. GlobalWebIndex and Influencer.
- Stat: Of US and UK consumers who follow social media influencers, 72% are spending more time on social since the outbreak, according to a May 2020 GlobalWebIndex and Influencer survey. And 64% of respondents are likely to continue using social media to the same extent once pandemic-related restrictions are lifted. Source: The Age of Influence. July 2020. GlobalWebIndex and Influencer.
The opportunity for marketers: Aligning with influencers is a great way for a brand to humanise itself. Authentic influencer content, particularly during the pandemic, resonated with audiences and through genuine partnerships, brands can recreate this connection.