The team at social media tracking service, amaSocial, discusses the effects the national lockdown has had on the social media industry. 

How has online behaviour changed since the talks of a lockdown?

According to comScore, the number of minutes spent by readers on news sites has increased by 46% in the same period last year. And since people can’t hang out with their friends in real life, they’re connecting virtually — on every platform possible.

It’s not only Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram seeing increased traffic — Zoom and Skype user numbers have skyrocketed since the global pandemic began.

What is most interesting about this perhaps, is to consider how these behavioural changes are likely to shape the future of our world. Undoubtedly, we’ll see more businesses offering remote working opportunities, but we’re also likely to see people utilising more online communication channels to stay in touch with their teams.

Why is social media usage increasing?

The most obvious reason for the rise in social usage is the fact that people are social creatures by nature. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, after a couple of days of self-isolation, you’re likely to miss your friends or colleagues.

The gap that is left from the lack of social interaction with social communities is significant, and social media offers a way to fill this void. The global pandemic has left most people feeling anxious and looking for support amid the ongoing uncertainty — and as such, people need to feel connected more than ever before.

To stay connected, albeit virtually, video interaction is on the rise. In particular, the rise of traditionally social, external events being streamed online. From business conferences to DJ sets — you can stream just about anything today.

How has the value of social media has changed?

Social media has always been the place where people talk, but with people being isolated, it has become the only place people talk. Because of this, it is undoubtedly the most important channel for brands to focus on right now.

With people spending more time online, social platforms are the perfect place for brands to connect with their audiences. There has never been a better time to capitalise on building relationships with your audiences.

To do this, brands can:
  • Increase their social presence during the lockdown. People are desperate for new, fresh content — so give it to them!
  • Check in with your audiences without trying to make a sale. Focus on how they are feeling and show you really care.
  • Encourage engagement and respond to comments as soon as possible. Since audiences are online for longer than usual, it’s a great opportunity to converse with them; but only if you respond quickly.
  • Optimise your content for SEO — find the right keywords and utilise them in your digital and social content for maximum exposure.
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