Did the Covid-19 Pandemic change the way we are using Social Media today and how does this affect your selling online?! What happened before/after the pandemic to the use people make of Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube… and what does it mean for your Amazon FBA / Ecommerce business? Let’s find out in this blog post!
The recent coronavirus pandemic has been three years of lower productivity, worry and being stuck at home, without being able to get out. It resulted in major changes across the globe. One of the most noticeable impacts of COVID-19 can be seen with the shift in Social Media. While all of us were stuck at home, we spent more time consuming forms of digital entertainment and talking to friends and family on our phones via social media apps. Social media companies gained millions of new users and their valuation shot to the moon.
With everyone stuck at home and eager to consume a new form of entertainment, the video format, alongside the rise of TikTok, quickly gained a major share of the social media pie. Let’s examine here how social media has changed since COVID-19 and the shift in how and what forms of content people are consuming.
What Happened During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
COVID-19 presented the biggest and most disruptive global epidemic ever faced in modern history. Entire cities were shut down for days and weeks. Entire countries were closed off from the rest of the world for months and years. Travel plans were cancelled. Sports games were put on hold. Work was done from home instead of the office. All of this meant there was no more face-to-face or physical interaction with another person, for the risk of contracting a fatal case of COVID-19 was too high.
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With no other forms of entertainment and enjoyment, think: no lunches or dinners with friends or family at nice restaurants; no BBQs on the weekend; no summer days spent tanning at the beach; no watching movies in theaters; people flocked to the Internet – the only form of communication and entertainment available. This gave way to new forms of communication: video calls, voice messages, sharing photos and videos on a grander scale than ever before.
People began spending more time with family; cooking at home; watching more movies; most of all, consuming a lot more social media. The growth of every social media platform exploded. By December 2020, Facebook reported that its profit soared 53% over the previous year. It also reported 1.84 billion people used the platform at least once a day, an 11% increase over the previous year.
Time spent on Instagram in 2020 increased by 14%. Similarly, time spent on Snapchat increased by 12% in the same year. In the US alone, Americans spent on average 82 minutes each day on social media in 2020, a seven-minute increase from 2019.
All this data shows that people embraced social media like never before. But one major shift in social media content was an increase in the video format of live streaming, YouTube, Reels and TikTok.
The Rise of Video & TikTok after Covid-19
Before the pandemic, growth on social media platforms where image was the main form of content, was slowing down. Outside of YouTube, video didn’t experience a boom of usage, consumption and content creation as there was a barrier to entry; it took time to learn how to make videos with smooth cuts and you had to know how to use a video editing software.
TikTok flipped the social media world on its head. TikTok made making video easy. You didn’t have to know anything about video editing. TikTok’s easy to use app made it a cinch. And as a plus, TikTok videos could be as short as ten seconds and the less “pro” your video was, the more it was perceived to be authentic. It encouraged people to be creative and hop on the trends of the moment, generating more video content on the platform.
This authentic, easy to make video style took the world by storm. In 2020, TikTok’s revenue growth was 654.29%, almost five times as much as 2019. Between 2020 and 2022, the number of active TikTok users in the US alone grew by almost 20 million.
TikTok’s growth was so groundbreaking that Meta copied the style for Instagram, calling it Reels. Google also copied TikTok by introducing Shorts for YouTube. But they still couldn’t come close to TikTok’s success.
…And What Else Changed in the way we use Social Media?
Here are six insights on how the pandemic changed social media.
1.) People spent more time on social media during the pandemic. And that did not change drastically after restrictions were lifted. Social media habits adopted during the pandemic did not go away.
2.) People consume more video content than ever before, across all platforms. The types of videos they watch are positive and uplifting, on topics such as body positivity, mental health and more. Other types of content include educational, informative content. Of the brands people follow, they started to unfollow major big industry brands and concentrate on micro-influencers in niche industries. When it comes to the type of content people watch, it’s entertainment all the way. They want fun and engaging content. People get bored easily!
3.) The best times to post on social media have changed since the pandemic. Because the regular 9-to-5 work hours changed, people consumed social media content at all hours of the day. Sprout Social has more detail on what are the best times to post.
4.) Influencer marketing experienced staggering growth as a result of the pandemic. More and more people used social media as a creative outlet and many of them realized an opportunity to become full-time influencers. Influencer marketing is expected to grow to be worth $21.1 billion in 2023! There’s now a lot more room for sponsored content, partnerships and influencer-brand sales opportunities.
5.) People look to build community on social media. During the pandemic, people were stuck at home and looked to social media to find people with similar values and interests. These communities developed and grew to the point that many are used as marketing channels because of their large audience.
How Can I Use Social Media to Grow My Ecommerce / Amazon Business?
Thanks to COVID-19 and the rise of TikTok, people’s social media habits have changed. Yet every social media platform has its unique identity, so to be successful in social media marketing, you need to learn where your audience is and why they’re there. However, there are some common themes among all social media platforms today. Let’s take a look.
People want to be entertained!
The recent increase in social media usage can be attributed to people’s desire for pure fun and distraction from serious matters. Even older social media users, who previously considered platforms like TikTok as silly and immature, have embraced it for entertainment during times of stress. Gen Z, in particular, expresses boredom and a strong preference for fun content, making light messaging and escapism appealing for marketers. Video content, known for its high engagement, is the top choice for marketing thanks to the growing demand for diversions and distractions from the grind of daily life.
Be creative, be individual, not just a follower
People these days aren’t just consuming content; they’re also creating it in larger quantities than ever before. During the pandemic, Americans spent over 90% more time utilizing apps for creating and editing visuals compared to the pre-pandemic period. This increase in activity meant that there was a significant increase in the production and sharing of videos.
The popularity of TikTok further highlights the growing trend of audience participation and creativity. Users appreciate the platform not only for its entertainment value but also as a creative outlet.
Keep in mind that you should leverage your own creative efforts. Your target audience is more inclined to embrace experimental marketing formats, content and styles. If you’ve been considering trying something a bit daring and wondering how consumers would respond, now is a good time to test it! Explore new approaches to content creation whether it’s using new images, video editing styles and more.
Don’t forget that people also enjoy exploring their own creativity. Marketing strategies that empower and encourage your audience to create content and bring their own ideas to life can be even more effective than simply showcasing your own creative concepts. Posts that engage audiences in interactive creativity tend to be well-received. Incorporating calls for audience participation can significantly enhance engagement and connection.
Building brand loyalty should be a top priority for any social media marketer, as it has numerous benefits. Not only is retention more cost-effective than acquisition, but 56% of consumers stay loyal to brands that understand them and increasing customer retention by just 5% can lead to a significant boost in revenue. Creating authentic social media posts that provide a respite from negativity and demonstrate genuine care for consumers can be a powerful way to foster strong brand loyalty.
Here are a few key tips to creating authentic social media content.
Create a connection
Building a connection with your audience is vital for generating brand loyalty and positive customer satisfaction. You can achieve this by asking for their opinions, implementing their feedback, showing appreciation, providing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business, and maintaining a balance between promotional and non-promotional content. By engaging with your audience in these ways, you can foster authenticity and create a meaningful relationship with your followers.
Being likeable on social media is essential for authenticity. To achieve this, it’s important to be vulnerable and share personal stories. Admitting mistakes and sharing stories of overcoming challenges can help personalize your brand and make your social media content more genuine. The more you can connect with your audience on a personal level, the more authentic your social media content will be.
Stand out from the crowd
To make your business’ social media content truly authentic, it’s important to avoid simply regurgitating what everyone else is sharing. Instead, find a distinctive angle or personal story that will deeply resonate with your audience. You can achieve this through captivating and engaging videos, images or compelling copy. However, authenticity through honesty is critical, as your audience can easily tell if you’re being dishonest. Ensure that your content is genuine and fosters a memorable connection with your consumers.
Social Media Evolution after Covid-19… In Summary!
Social media has changed since COVID-19. More and more people are online and they are consuming significant amounts of content. When the pandemic made it difficult for people to get together and communicate with each other, social media helped to close distances and feel connected. It helped build online communities where positive, uplifting content could be shared. It also allowed a new generation of content creators bring their creativity through short-form video on platforms like TikTok, Snapchat and more.
The type of content people consume and when they consume it has changed, too. People have showed they want content that is entertaining, empowering and educational. People want content that is authentic, honest and true. Which means that brands need to think about how they can relate to their audience to build their brand, gain a following and sell their product and/or service. While video is the main form of content consumption today, it’s important to stay on top of social media trends and be on the lookout for the next big thing. With Meta’s newly launched Threads platform, a rival to Twitter, things are changing once again!