A multitude of industries are experiencing disruption within their businesses due to the outbreak of the global pandemic, COVID-19. In times of uncertainty, it is only natural that consumer behavior and patterns will change. In this new era of social distancing, it is important for businesses to adapt their strategies and rely on digital and social media strategies in order to provide value to their consumers.

Increase in Social Media Usage

In a recent LinkedIn survey, studies have shown that 43% of people are now working remotely. With the significant spike in work from home rates, it’s no surprise that it has had a massive impact on social media usage across the board. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have seen a 40% increase in usage due to COVID-19. Snapchat has reported that Snaps have reached an all time high, and even Tik-Tok has surpassed 1 billion installs.  With the increased usage, many social media platforms have reported that their ads are performing better. In fact, Snapchat install volume for app ads have increased by 36% and the swipe-up rate has increased by 19% within the last month. This creates a unique opportunity to promote your brand, with a Global Web Index study reporting that 43% of consumers find it reassuring to hear from brands they know during the current pandemic.

Trends in Paid Social Media

The spike in consumption of social media across all platforms in tandem with a weaker ad demand from marketers has led to a significant decrease in competition in the auction. Brands who are continuing to run social ads are reaping the benefits of reaching their target market more efficiently than ever before. For example on Twitter, Nike has shifted their strategy to focus on how their products can be used anywhere and not just at the gym or other public locations. They have also taken the initiative to promote the importance of staying indoors, with their #playinside campaign.

nike footwear

nike play inside

Other brands are using paid ads to bring awareness and inform consumers that their services can now be accessed through digital means. Anomalie, a wedding dress company, has been using paid ads on Facebook to inform consumers about their new virtual wedding dress shopping experience.

virtual wedding shopping

Across industries, Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPMs) have decreased on average by more than half, not only that, but there has also been a decrease in CPC too. These trends align with what we’ve seen from our clients here at AVX Digital as well. With usage at an all time high and competition in the market continuing to drop this is a great time for brands to fund paid campaigns. Brands can use this time to raise awareness to a higher volume of people, at a much cheaper cost.

Trends in Organic Social Media Content

There are a variety of brands that have already shifted their marketing strategy in order to align their message with today’s current climate. For example, many brands are taking advantage of Instagram’s live feature in order to engage with their consumers. Olive & June are using this feature to provide live mani bootcamps in lieu of in-person classes.

mani bootcamp live

mani bootcamp live 2

Others are taking advantage of Instagram’s many features to keep an open dialogue with users and to use it as a way to be as transparent during this time. Doing things such as posting an FAQ on your Instagram feed or using the polling feature on Instagram stories as a way to engage with the audience are great ways brands can keep in contact and engage with users. A great example of this is Brightland using their Instagram stories to share recipes with their community and repost pictures of meals that their followers have made. They are also using IGTV to host live cooking classes as a way to demonstrate their products.

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How Social Media Platforms are Getting Involved

Many platforms understand that due to the current situation, it can be hard finding the right message to convey to users. One has to strike a fine balance between being informative, engaging and empathetic. In order to help brands, Pinterest has created a content guide that provides tips on how to maintain a connection with users on the platform. They recommend making sure that content produced should be compassionate, informative and positive. Facebook has seen that many small businesses have been negatively affected by COVID-19 and has rolled out an initiative to help. Their Small Business Grant program was set-up to assist in covering any operational costs, rent costs, and to help keep companies afloa.  In addition to the grant program, they have also made a variety of changes to their platform to give people the opportunity to help small businesses. New features such as the fundraiser feature, along with the new gift card feature provide for ways that the community can get involved and support these small businesses during this challenging period.

There is no denying that this pandemic will have a lasting impact across all industries. Brands need to utilize this time to hone in on their marketing strategies and make sure that they’re coming from a place of value and care when communicating with users. By continuing with their marketing efforts both on the paid and organic social side of things, it can help mitigate any negative impacts COVID-19 might have on their business.

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