COVID’s Impact on the Future of Social Media Marketing

Well… 2020 is officially out of here. It will always be remembered but never missed. Happy New Year! This past year has been a hectic one for sure and not only for people but for businesses as well. With the fear of the virus on the loose causing a big decline in face-to-face interaction, many businesses had to take advantage of the digital space to its full extent especially for their marketing.

As COVID-19 kept most of us quarantined and locked indoors, the digital space was (and still is) basically the only way businesses could get products or services in front of the eyes of the consumer. According to a Global Web Index survey, 46% of women and 41% of men said they have spent more time on social media since before the pandemic began. With that fact at hand, it became even more crucial for businesses to be on social than ever before.

As COVID-19 kept lurking around as days, weeks, and months passed by change started to occur. Of course, our lives were changing but consumer behavior on social media was changing right along with it in many different ways. Trends were changing, engagement was changing, social media use as a whole was changing. As COVID-19 carries over into the new year, it is imperative for businesses to adapt to new shifts in consumer behavior on social. Here's how consumer behavior has been altered due to the effects of the pandemic and how it will impact the future of social media marketing.

Increase in Social Use

As previously mentioned, as the pandemic began to close down the environment around us many people turned to social media to keep up with their family and friends, stay informed, and shop. 43% of people admit to logging into their social accounts for longer because of the outbreak, and 19% today say they will carry on spending longer on social media according to Global Web Index. With more people on social, brands need to take a hard look at their appearance on social. Taking the time to evaluate consumer behavior will help you figure out what is attracting a consumer's eye and how to work it into your strategy.

Has your business put more focus on your social marketing strategy within the past year? If not, it's time to start because social is where everyone is at especially in today's time.

Increase in Online Shopping

As our community tried (and still trying) its hardest to stop the spread of the virus, many have shifted their attention online to get the products and services they need without having to leave their home. According to Adobe, U.S. total online spending reached $73 billion in June, marking a 76.2 percent increase year-over-year. Remember people scavenging the web for toilet paper and paper towels? Although the demand and supply have leveled out now for those specific products (thank goodness), that was the beginning of the rise in online shopping. Sure, online shopping was around pre-COVID but COVID has only increased it among consumers.

Social media platforms have even made it easier for businesses to sell their products and services directly on the platform. It even makes it a simpler buying journey for the consumer. Take a look at Instagram for example. To help out businesses and adapt to consumers' needs, they created a "View Shop" feature a business could host on their profile. This allowed businesses to input all their products into the shop allowing people to shop their brand directly through the app. Consumers can simply click a product and checkout directly on Instagram without ever having to travel away from the app. Convenient.

Haven't utilized this feature yet for your business? Get started now and stay ahead of the trends on social. Learn more about it here.

Social users are also looking to shop with brands who care about what is going on whether that be COVID-19 or what's taking place in the community. There has been a lot of social issues in the news over the past year and people have taken to social media to express their beliefs and support for the causes they care about. People are more likely to follow and stay true to your brand if you share and express your support to causes you care about as well instead of just focusing your marketing on selling.

Increase in Video

Video has and continues to increase in popularity among social users, but COVID-19 has only increased its popularity. When it comes to providing value for your brand or services consider incorporating video into your social media marketing strategy. During COVID-19, Tik Tok blew up. Before COVID-19, Gen Z mainly used it for the most part. Once isolation and quarantine life took place, more people from different generation classes joined the platform and it became huge. Instagram soon launched Reels, and now Snapchat has even incorporated a similar feature called Spotlight.

This is a trend that will carry on through the new year and on. It's important for businesses to invest time into learning how to use this type of video content to their advantage. We project the future of social media marketing is going to revolve a great bit around video.

In Conclusion

These are just a few of the ways consumer behavior has changed due to the effects of COVID-19. Change isn't bad, but it is bad when your business doesn't change with It. Consumer behavior changes all the time. These trends among consumers are projected to carry on into the new year and gain even more popularity. If you're looking to get your business's social media marketing strategy off to a better start this year, schedule a consultation with us. We will be happy to help you work up a winning strategy that will help you turn social into sales.

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Meredith Jones smiling for a camera

Meredith Jones

Digital Media Apprentice

About the author

Meredith is a Digital Media Specialist with a specialty in branding and video content. Not only does Meredith make crazy cool social media posts for clients, but she also creates epic video content. Meredith also takes pride in analyzing our clients' social media data, researching the latest industry trends, and generating the best leads for clients via LinkedIn.