media update’s Christine Beukes takes you through the top seven hashtags surrounding COVID-19.

Often seen on platforms like Twitter, trending hashtags are the ones that appear most in people’s feeds and are often the #tags that are searched for most often. It’s no secret that COVID-19 is a trending topic in the media, and with all the hashtags surrounding the pandemic, it’s easy for some posts to get lost in newsfeeds.

Whether you’re a brand sending out an awareness campaign or a user trying to stay up to date with what’s happening regarding the pandemic, these trending hashtags are a must-know.

Here are the top 10 trending hashtags about COVID-19 in South Africa, and the rest of the world:

1. #Covid_19SA / #Coronavirus / #Covid19

All three of these hashtags have been grouped together because, well, they’re all discussing the same thing. The only difference is that #Covid_19SA (and its variations, such as #Covid19SouthAfrica and #Covid19SA) is specifically used in relation to updates that pertain to South Africans. Globally, everyone is using #Covid19 and #Coronavirus in posts to discuss the pandemic and any updates in relation thereof.

As it is such a broad hashtag, it would be wise to use it in correlation with other #tags that are more specifically related to the topic you are discussing.

Take this post on Twitter for example:



Notice how the user includes hashtags such as: #CoronaUpdate, #LockdownSA and #Day25OfLockdown. These hashtags are all in direct relation to the Coronavirus updates that @ThabangMantutle is giving audiences in South Africa.

Why this hashtag is trending: People want to know what’s happening regarding the pandemic, and social media is one of the fastest ways to find out. Social is instant, and many people prefer to get a quick update on platforms like Twitter as opposed to searching for updates on Google.

2. #StaySafeStayHome

This hashtag has been making its rounds worldwide, and the message of it is clear: Stay home. With many people concerned about the spread of the virus, there have been many posts encouraging others not to leave their houses.



Additionally, many have been using #StaySafeStayHome to post about what they’ve been up to while on lockdown as a means to inspire those who are tempted to run out the door.


Why this hashtag is trending: People are all trying their best to adhere to their government's regulations regarding self-quarantine and lockdown. In doing so, they are using this hashtag to promote self-isolation and social distancing in order to help #FlattenTheCurve.

3. #INoLongerRemember

This is just one of many hashtags that have been trending on Twitter people from all over can relate to right now (take note, brands). The hashtag is being used to post about things people are starting to ‘forget’ about due to being in lockdown.

Take, for instance, the post below:



Why this hashtag is trending: The lockdown in South Africa means restrictions have been put in place regarding quite a few things, including take-aways. People are humorously coping with these restrictions through the use of this hashtag on Twitter in order to describe the things they miss.

These types of hashtags are quite common on social media, and many people are creating all sorts of challenges and relatable content in order to survive. Here are a few to take note of:
  • #MyPandemicSurvivalPlan: This hashtag is being used on multiple platforms, including Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, and is being used by users to describe how they’re going to survive the lockdown – whether it’s by playing board games or exercising.
  • #QuarintineAndChill: Many are using this # to post pictures and videos about what they’re doing while in self-isolation mode.
  • #EggChallenge: This challenge occurred as a result of lockdown and involves swallowing a raw egg, followed by sugar and then taking a shot of rum or brandy.
  • #LockdownChallenge: This can be any challenge, either started by you or another user, that involves your friends, colleagues or family during lockdown.
  • #WeirdThenWaveChallenge: This challenge involves people doing something strange and then waving at the camera afterward.

4. #Lockdown

#Lockdown is frequently used on all platforms, and many people are using it to discuss their new way of life at this point in time. For instance, the hashtag currently has 4.7 million posts (as of 20 April) on Instagram and is all the rage right now: 


People are using it to discuss various things surrounding lockdown, and many users are creating different variations of this hashtag in order to add onto the topic. For example, #lockdownmemes is being used on the platform to post memes that specifically pertain to lockdown.

Why this hashtag is trending: With everyone currently staying at home, it’s no wonder that this is a trending topic on social media. People want to discuss what they’re doing in self-isolation, creating challenges and staying up to date with what’s happening with #Lockdown2020.

5. #COVIDIOTS

This hashtag is a bit of a ‘touchy subject’, as it refers to people who are not adhering to government regulations regarding COVID-19 – hence, #COVIDIOTS. This hashtag is mainly being used by people to express their frustrations about those who are not practicing social distancing, and many are exposing these people on social media.



Why this hashtag is trending: Everyone’s main goal throughout this pandemic is to #FlattenTheCurve, and that can only be done if people are self-isolating and avoiding crowds. Seeing people who are not following the rules is bound to create feelings of hostility and anger, as it puts other people’s lives in danger. Users are therefore posting about #COVIDIOTS in order to put a stop to the breaking of these rules.

6. #WFH / #WorkingFromHome

#WorkingFromHome has become the new norm, and this hashtag and its other form, #WFH, is being primarily used to talk about what it’s like to make your home your new office.

At media update, our team recently also got caught up in the hype and we each posted an image of what it’s like to #WFH:

  

Why this hashtag is trending: Working from home means you're bringing your work to your personal space, which means there are now pets involved and comfy couches instead of computer chairs. While many people have already experienced WFH, everyone is doing it now and all want a way to share their experiences.

7. #FlattenTheCurve

This hashtag came about as a means to support the ‘Flattening the Curve’ campaign, which came about as a response to the pandemic. The curve refers to the number of people who are predicted to contract the virus after a certain period of time.

Why this hashtag is trending: The aim is to reduce that number, or ‘flatten’ the curve, by having everyone practice social distancing, enforcing lockdown and putting infected people into quarantine. According to the Department of Health in South Africa, “The faster the infection curve rises, the quicker health care system will get overloaded beyond its capacity to treat people.” And no one wants that, which is why people are doing all they can to support the campaign on social media.



Are there any hashtags we might have missed? Let us know in the comments section below.

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With everyone adapting to the #WFH life, Is video conferencing the future of social media? Or even the way we do business, as a whole? Find the answer in our article!
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy