Since the spreading of the COVID-19 outbreak and pandemic, the expression “Social Distancing” has been increased to the point of being a strict federal government policy. In most states, a government-ordered lockdown followed. The hashtag #StayHome can now be seen everywhere on social media during COVID flareups.
What is Social Distancing?
Social distancing is physical distancing contact with each other. An acceptable social distancing should be no less than six feet or 1.83 meters. In Wikipedia, social distancing is defined as a non-pharmaceutical measure to prevent the spread of a contagious disease by maintaining a physical distance between people and reducing the number of times people come into close contact with each other. Many counties and city governments have called upon residents to stay at home during the global pandemic.
Social Media to The Rescue!
We are lucky to be in a generation where technology has enhanced so much, giving us full online forums for social interactions. Social distancing might seem intimidating. However, we are more connected because social media during COVID has come to our rescue.
The usage of social media during COVID has surged more than ever before. People of all ages, in most cases, are spending 20% more time connected to social media platforms taking advantage of technologies like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Twitter.Every business should have at least a pinned post on their Facebook page sharing where their business is at concerning to the pandemic. Click To Tweet
According to Forbes Magazine and other resources like Kantar, consumers showed engagement increasing 61% over regular usage rates. Messaging across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp has risen by 50% in countries hit hardest by the virus. WhatsApp usage has increased by 40%, growing from an initial 27% bump in the earlier days of the pandemic to 41% in the mid-phase. Facebook usage has increased by 37% and, also, Instagram and Facebook Live views doubled in a week. Twitter sees 23% more daily users than a year ago.
Social apps have reported increased usage and engagement. We’re all locked in our homes and looking for a means to stay connected with the outside world.
Social Media During COVID Is Shaping Our Fears
Social media has been defined as a computer-mediated technology that allows one to create and share information. Subsequently, internet users turn to digital video and video-on-demand platforms to keep themselves entertained. Online and mobile app users in the United States confined to their homes during the pandemic use Instagram more than periods before. Users have flocked to YouTube and Facebook videos that have been popular social platforms during physical or social distancing at home.
When it matters most, people are turning to social media for updates and connections. Businesses, as well, have found renewed value, and how they use social media during COVID is changing. Data shows that marketing and ads have given way to direct engagement, one-on-one interaction with other people. There has been a 15-20% increase in posts, as businesses reach out to customers and employees. Data shows that marketing and ads have given way to direct engagement — one-on-one interaction with other people.
Business Leverage of Social Media
The availability of social media during COVID has been a huge blessing for all of us. It has helped us stay connected virtually, if not physically. Every business should have at least a pinned post on their Facebook page sharing where their business is at concerning to the pandemic. The business regulars and new customers should be able to find the company on Facebook or Instagram to see if it is still open, how they have adjusted to social distancing measures and what products and services they still have available.
Many people use social media during COVID to be entertained, to connect, and be to be informative. Businesses should be proactive in offering quality content. Businesses need to leverage social media and keep engaged with customers virtually.
Key Points to Remember
- Communicate transparently and frequently: Make sure all the business social media channels are current. Include information about how they are adapting to the current environment. Be transparent and just state facts. Communicate daily, weekly, or as available to respond to questions, give advice, and review policies and protocols.
- Communicate with Empathy: Be sensitive to the wording used in business marketing and communications. Tweak your posts to be more empathetic to your clients’ potential situations.
- Consider Livestreaming: Use Facebook and Instagram Live to make important announcements and hyper-timely updates.
- Leverage Digital Tools: Leverage your website for calls, appointment scheduling, touring, and online order/purchase.
- Use Social Listening Tools: Social listening is an important tactic. It helps business owners to understand sentiment and conversations about their brand.
- Respond to Your Reviews: Now is a great time to respond to those reviews you’ve been too busy to tackle. Business owners can encourage customers to leave reviews on Google My Business or business website. Then they can share the positive ones to social media channels.
- Support Local Businesses: It’s a great time to support local businesses collectively.
- Inject A Little Humor – Ask your clients and employees. Have them share images and stories on how they are living their #StayHome lives.
If your business closes or slows down, it is the ideal time to strategize, create content, and expand your online offering. Spend this time brainstorming and pitch ideas that make sense for your business. Making creativity an ongoing task now increases the likelihood that it will be a lasting habit when business gets back to normal.
We Are All Impacted by Social Media
Technology and digital media companies are playing an important function: providing entertainment, diversion, information, connection, and giving a non-disease-spreading social outlet to the increasing number of people electing or forced to stay home.
Understanding the impact of social media during COVID, especially usage on people and businesses’ mental wellbeing at this specific moment, is essential. Admittedly, this is a unique moment where more people are searching for and sharing information across social media platforms. The results are clear that users like Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook.
Social media during COVID is going to be like those handwritten letters, postcards, and photos that people saved and whose details may not be lost. With the appropriate tags, social media could serve as the record of fact for today’s events. For companies like us, That! Company, who live and breathe social media, internet marketing, and SEO, confluence with customers, clients, and collaborators using social media for good and rallying to support their efforts has been inspiring.
Written by y Arturo S.