Home CioAxis Users, brands are changing their online behaviour in response to COVID-19

Users, brands are changing their online behaviour in response to COVID-19


The global pandemic has transformed the way in which users and brands engage over social media, according to State of Social Media Report: The Impact of COVID-19, released by Socialbakers, the social media marketing platform.

The report also dives into the implications on social media ad spend, CPC (cost per click) and engagement across social media channels.

The goal of the report is to provide businesses with key insights into how the social media landscape is changing and how they should be marketing today to come out stronger tomorrow.

“Brands should be future-proofing their business by embracing digital transformation. If this time is showing us anything, it’s that digital channels are where customer engagement is happening and businesses that neglect them do so at their peril,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO, Socialbakers.

Main findings of the report

Brands use social media to update audiences on COVID-19 pandemic
Socialbakers data show that posts mentioning coronavirus have been far more common on Facebook than on Instagram, suggesting that people may use Facebook more often when seeking news and updates. However, brands are using both platforms to update their audiences. By far, the industry with the highest post interactions was airlines, as millions of people scrambled to get answers through their airline’s social media channels.

Audiences respond with ‘Love’ to brands’ coronavirus posts
About the same time brands shared messages of support or details of what they were doing to support their communities and employees, audiences responded with a dramatic increase in ‘Love’ reactions to coronavirus-related content from brand accounts. This suggests that during these trying and emotional times, people are appreciative of the brands they follow, and the actions they are taking to provide help and assistance.

Audience spending more time online
With the rollout of social distancing around the world, Socialbakers data also shows that people in general are spending more time online every day in recent weeks. The fact that people are spending more time on social media means that they have more opportunity to see the content that brands are putting out. For example, the most recent data from the CET time zone in Europe shows online activity by fans of brand pages increased by 16.1% compared to the last full week in February.

Facebook ad spend drops in South-East Asia
Since the beginning of March as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, Facebook ad spend started to drop in regions such as North America, Western Europe, South Europe and South-East Asia. This decline in ad cost presents an opportunity for B2B brands to drive awareness and thought leadership, while B2C brands can use this opportunity to acquire traffic at a lower cost.

Ad spend is recovering in East Asia
One bright spot from the Socialbakers data is that paid ad investment is once again picking up in East Asia, as the region starts to resume business. In that region, Facebook CPC actually increased by 25.6% in March.

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