Social Media Trends: How a Global Pandemic Affects Behaviour on Social. Part 1
By Dana Koenigsberg
The COVID-19 outbreak is changing not only our lifestyles, but our habits, including how we communicate in the business context. Four months ago, digital selling and social marketing were nice-to-have programs for most businesses. Today, we are turning to social media and video conferencing for most business communications. Digital transformation is now a pressing issue, not an option.
As we navigate the ‘new normal,’ we look to data for answers about how the coronavirus has impacted our online behaviour. What are people talking about on social media? How has our new way of life affected the time we read online? When will people begin to share and read content unrelated to the virus?
Audiences are highly engaged in coronavirus-related content
We analyzed the top most engaging articles shared by Grapevine6 users over the past 10 weeks to see how the general conversation has shifted since the outbreak of COVID-19. Currently, 90% of the most engaging articles shared using Grapevine6 are related to the virus. The spike in COVID-19-related sharing happened around the same time President Trump introduced new social distancing guidelines and acknowledged a recession in the works, as well as Prime Minister Trudeau announcing new entry restrictions in Canada. As rules tighten and the reality of the pandemic begins to affect more areas of our lives, we look to social media platforms to find information from our friends and colleagues who are all going through the same thing. What we can learn from our data is that right now it is okay to be sharing 90% coronavirus-related content to social media, since readers are highly engaged with it.
A shift from business and finance to personal and informational
Before March 16, none of the top 3 most clicked articles mentioned the coronavirus. Since then, all 3 spots have been filled with COVID-19 content, such as keeping your kids busy, disinfecting your phone, and infographics on the history of pandemics. The most popular articles don’t talk about market volatility or investment risks. People want to read about the human aspects of the virus, like how to keep their families safe, how to create a sense of normalcy during isolation, and what global pandemics looked like in the past. According to our data, for the time being, it is appropriate to post more personal content relating to COVID-19, and less business content.
To summarize, the data from our platform has confirmed that the conversation has shifted from non-COVID-19 to COVID-19 and business to personal topics. I hope this information can help your business make smart decisions for your social media sharing strategy.
Grapevine6 is a content engagement platform and the trends mentioned in this article are not scientific fact. For the purpose of this analysis, anonymous data was aggregated from the Grapevine6 platform using select clients from the financial services industry.