3 Ways Social Media Has Shifted During COVID-19
As we continue to practice personal distancing and stay cooped up in our homes, we are using social media in unique ways to stay in touch with the outside world. Compared to 2019, social media was a constant flow of competition, whereas now, we are seeing social media actually being social.
As a marketing agency, we are fascinated by these changes and want to dive in a little deeper on what exactly is going on. Without further ado, here are some ways social media has shifted during a global pandemic.
With everyone hunkered down in their homes, people have been taking to social media to fill that absence of human interaction. However, people have drifted away from Facebook and Twitter using them mainly to stay updated on the news and have gravitated to platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, WhatsApp, Zoom, and Houseparty.
Not only has engagement drifted to other channels, but the tone of these platforms has changed as well. Social media is not a place to brag anymore because what is there to brag about? No one is experiencing FOMO because there is nothing to miss out on. People aren’t counting their likes because likes don’t matter when you are video chatting.
The urge to stay in touch with one another has overpowered the competition in social media. We are finally seeing what social media was intended to do - connect people.
Social media has been a place to stay updated on current events and trends, however, this has surged in the past few months. People are now going to Facebook and Twitter to receive their news, especially on COVID-19. So much so that it caused viral panic, which led platforms to join forces to limit misinformation.
A coordinated effort was formed between multiple different social platforms to remove incorrect information and direct you to reliable sources. Facebook, Google, Linkedin, Microsoft, Reddit, Youtube, and Twitter came out with a joint statement saying they are putting efforts in place to combat fraud and false information about the pandemic.
Additionally, TikTok has also taken a step to keep their users informed about the current situation by teaming up with WHO. The WHO is currently using a verified TikTok account to share vital and accurate information about coronavirus to ensure Millenials and Gen Z are being reached with the right resources.
Wellness and Wellbeing
The coronavirus is not only attacking the public physically but also mentally and emotionally. People are forced to stay at home longer than we are used to, which puts people’s mental health at risk. To combat this, Snapchat has put out an initiative to ensure the wellbeing of its users.
The “Here For You” tool provides users with content from experts related to mental health, depression, anxiety, and topics related to the coronavirus. With dozens of partnerships, including the WHO, the Crisis Text Line Support, CDC, NHS, and many more, Snapchat is taking on a unique role to inform and ensure the safety of its users.
So how will these changes affect the future of digital interaction? Well, I believe this opens the door to a world of new opportunities as we become more integrated digitally. Innovative solutions will begin to surface as we go through this quarantine because people’s imagination is being sparked and put into action.
The exact future of social media is undetermined, but in my opinion, social media will remain a place of connection rather than competing for likes. Therefore, businesses should be focusing on advocacy rather than algorithms. Meaningful content will go a long way with your audience in the present and in the near future.