How Does The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Affect Social Media? 3 Examples!
Due to the current circumstances, when the coronavirus is spreading across Europe, much of our world and everyday life is not as it used to be. Despite its many fatal consequences, the digital society we live in today opens up many creative solutions – it can generate new and unexpected ideas. In this blog post, we take a closer look at three ways in which the Corona virus manifests itself and affects people, companies and authorities in social media.
1. Increased use of social media
With recommendations from WHO to stay home from work as far as possible, avoid large social gatherings and more, we see a clear increase in the use of social media. A survey conducted by GlobalWebIndex shows that 45% spend more time on social media as a result of the coronavirus. Instead of being out in the community and consuming as usual, more and more people turn to social platforms for entertainment, social interaction and shopping. As a brand, it is therefore even more important to be where the consumers are and maintain the dialogue with the target group – something that works very well to do via influencers.
Since consumers do not visit physical events, stores and shopping malls to the same extent, we can see that companies are moving their marketing budget from offline to online, as this is where the target group is located. A study by GlobalWebIndex, which examines the impact of coronavirus on humans, found that 70% spend more time on their smartphones now than before. The same study also showed that Millennials are the ones who have increased their online shopping the most. Take a look at your own screen time in recent weeks – is it the same as before or has it decreased / increased?
2. Authorities and companies are looking for new platforms to reach a younger target group
Generation Z includes people aged 16-24, who have grown up with the internet and digital communication as a matter of course. While older generations often turn to newspapers and press conferences on television to find out important societal information, the younger target group does not consume these media in the same way. To reach younger generations with information about the coronavirus, we see that authorities and companies are looking for new platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, to communicate with the target group on their terms, where they are naturally.
An example here is the World Health Organization (WHO), which via the social video sharing app TikTok now targets the younger target group in order to reach out with important information and deny myths in connection with the global spread of infection. Earlier this week, for example, the WHO held a live broadcast on the platform and distributed videos from its press conferences. In addition to this, TikTok has also released an information page under the “discovery tab” where the WHO answers frequently asked questions about the coronavirus, denies myths and tells you how best to avoid becoming infected. TikTok and WHO also encourage TikTok users to create videos where they share the information provided by the WHO through the platform to their followers, thus getting the important information out to even more people.
Recently, Instagram even went out with a notice at the top of the feed that directs users to the WHO’s website to read the latest information about the coronavirus.
3. Social media opens up for people and companies to help each other
Many people probably associate social media mainly with inspiration and consumption, but a clear trend that we can see in the circumstances that prevail right now is how social media forms a platform for people to help each other. In social channels, we see companies and private individuals who share, for example, free advice and knowledge, test periods on digital services and solutions to problems that have emerged in connection with the spread of the virus. One example is that people via groups in social media offer help with buying food to people who belong to risk groups or who are in quarantine. Social media is simply used as a platform to bring people closer together (well, at least virtually) and we think that opportunity is absolutely fantastic – The Power of People!
Things are changing very fast right now and it is important to stay up to date – something that also characterizes the industry in which we operate. Make sure to stay informed and follow the recommendations provided to reduce the spread of infection – whether you do it via a press conference or at TikTok. Take care of yourself out there!