Social Media in a Time of Social Distancing

For most brands, the coronavirus pandemic has presented a difficult time to navigate what should be the topic of conversion on social media. Finding the right messaging can be tricky, and many brands have pulled or postponed content that could appear insensitive. Social distancing or stay-at-home orders have also made it feel harder than ever to be in business. Whilst these times are trying, it seems that in the wake of the crisis people have been turning to social media for a sense of community.

Week-on-week Facebook use has increased by 25% in the UK due to more people taking to the channel for news and updates, showing that social media has a huge role to play as people spend more time indoors. Recognising the power that social media holds for keeping people connected – especially in times of social distancing.

Facebook has identified top trends across the Facebook family which can help brands to navigate how social media can be used over the coming weeks.

Trend #1 Staying Informed

People are using Facebook Family platforms to connect over the COVID19 pandemic and sharing quarantine experience. Total messaging increased by over 50% and time in group calls have increased by over 1,000% during the last month.

As for the role brands can play, Kantar research found that consumers are expecting brands to communicate openly about how they’ve increased safety measures for their products AND employees. Brands need to let customers know that they have got a contingency plan in place. What’s more, if anything changes – which is likely – social media is the perfect platform for communicating this quickly and clearly.

Trend #2 Staying Positive

People's effort to keep a positive attitude during trying times. They are working harder than ever to maintain interpersonal relationships remotely, and use relaxation techniques like guided meditation. Around the world, with gyms closing, customers are turning towards online classes, such as those in meditation and yoga.

To stay positive but informed, content can be a balance of informative and light-hearted. Everyone’s reading the news online throughout the day, there’s a lot of negativity and worry; everyone is listening to the Government’s advice and hearing a lot of things that are quite daunting because we’ve never been here before. Brands should recognise the severity of the situation, but equally content shouldn’t make people feel worse.

Trend #3 Staying Occupied

People are finding creative ways to stay occupied at home. Many news outlets are recommending what to watch, listen to and cook during social distancing. On-demand video platforms and film studios are releasing content earlier than expected, and first-time chefs are trying their own recipes in the comfort of their homes.

With more people on their phones, looking for engaging content to keep them busy as they try to tackle the emotional burden of self-isolation, social media will become a daily routine.

Brands can make sure they’re posting consistent content. You don’t want to spam people by posting every single day, but a few times per week is fine – particularly if what is being shared is useful, engaging, and shareable.

Conversations are ever-changing on social media, brands need to be clued up and able to comment on the things that matter most in their industry and for their customers. Now is the time to consider what is the unique role that your brand can play