We recently did some information gathering on how social media engagement has changed since the arrival of coronavirus in the United States. Here are a few takeaways, and insights into how you can adjust your social media strategy.
No surprise, due to sheltering in place, quarantines, remote learning and unfortunate job losses, a great many users are at home during the day, so their schedules have shifted tremendously from what they were previously. About 47% of internet users between 16 and 64 years are spending 23% longer on social media globally and in the US (Note: increased usage is more prominent among the 16-24 year old age group).
For example, the prime time for posting to Facebook pre-COVID was Wednesdays, 11am – 2pm. Now it’s shifted to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with 11am being the most popular time for engagement. For Instagram, the best times to post are 2 p.m. on Tuesday and 11 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. And for Twitter, the best day to post is Friday between 7–9 a.m., with 9 a.m. being the peak time.
TAKEAWAY: Consider adjusting the days and time you post your content to see lifts in engagement overall.
Prior to COVID-19, Facebook was regularly seeing a monthly decrease of 2.2% of users each month. Now, there’s been an increase in roughly 1,000,000 users in the 25-34 age range. Instagram also saw an increase in 2,000,000 users in same age range.
TAKEAWAY: Don’t blow off Facebook! Facebook’s ad platform is robust and easy to use (and also integrated with Instagram), and considering most people are still sheltering in place, they’d rather shop from home than visit a physical store.
FACE-TO-FACE INTERACTIONS ARE IMPORTANT
Zoom, which was not previously classified as a social media channel in the past, has risen to demand and is increasingly being utilized for in-person social interactions. It is now primarily a social platform for millions of people. Similarly, both Apple’s FaceTime, Facebook’s Video Chat and Google Chats are also viable options. Axios has also noted that “a move to more face-to-face digital interactions may be an important legacy of coronavirus lockdowns on the world’s social media behaviors.” The pandemic is serving to deepen the immersion of users in social media and online engagement.
TAKEAWAY: Consider offering your customers in-person video chats when you can, and post more video content so users feel a connection to your messages.