Staying Connected From Home
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended virtually every aspect of life. Employees who were used to going to their workplace have been directed to work from home. Students of all ages have been attending school from laptops at their kitchen tables. Whole categories of products never before considered essential have become sought-after commodities. As the world continues to deal with the fallout of the pandemic, consumer behavior is constantly evolving.
People have driven less than before, which has led insurance companies to offer rebates to drivers whose cars now languish in garages. More and more, people are turning to online resources for essential items such as groceries, cleaning supplies, and facial masks — or opting for curbside pickup or contactless delivery.
While many people have found that it is possible to work from home and have adhered to shelter-at-home orders, they still crave connection. As a result, more people are going online in search of contact that they no longer get at work, through social activities, or even the day-to-day routine of errands. Savvy brands and marketers realize that this increase in online interaction offers opportunities to reach these audiences.
It’s no secret that individuals spend a lot of time online and did so even before the pandemic. Though what may have previously been a diversion has now become an ideal way of keeping in touch with loved ones. Even more established social media sites such as Facebook have seen growth and an increase in usage due to the pandemic.
Consider that U.S. adults averaged 82 minutes on social media platforms during the height of the pandemic. This represents an increase of 8 percent over the previous year. (Facebook saw the biggest increase in the number of daily active users since 2011 — with 77 million new daily users, representing an 11 percent increase from the year prior. Instagram’s growth was even higher than that of Facebook or Snapchat, with an increase of 14 percent.)
It’s not just Americans who are relying more on social media for stimulation, connection, news, and entertainment. Throughout the world, 45 percent of people were spending more time on messaging services and 44 percent were spending more time on social media during April alone.
While this may be partially the result of an increase in time at home and a desire for distraction, these statistics speak to something else: the need for connection (as mentioned above). The fact is, this unprecedented time offers brands a unique opportunity to not only gain the attention of new customers but to also strengthen the relationship they have with existing customers. People want to interact, to feel that they matter. While company budgets may be limited as uncertainty swirls, savvy brands are maintaining or even increasing their social media spends to capture new audiences and stay in front of the minds of their current customers. Look at this as an opportunity to build your brand’s digital footprint.
The accompanying resource takes a closer look at some of the most popular social media platforms and COVID-19’s impact on their usage — providing further evidence of why this may be one of the most lucrative times to boost your investment in social media.