Social media use
Social media use is surging during these trying times of COVID-19. People spend more time online researching information and staying connected. And, during that time online, they are turning to their social networks more often as research clearly shows.
Where is it going? How are behaviors changing? What does it mean for brands?
Here are 28 facts on social media use and behavior during COVID-19.
Social media use surges as a news source, not always legitimate
- 6 topics as of March 25 account for 91% of all social media posts and discussions from an Ipsos study. They are News (37%), Social (19%), Politics (15%), Racism and Blame (13%), Medical (4%) and Economics (3%).
- 18% of US adults get their news about the coronavirus from social media first according to Pew Research Center.
- 50% of those people say they have encountered news about COVID-17 that is made up.
- 37% say they are following the coronavirus “very closely.”
- 19 million mentions of COVID-19 across social media, blogs, and online news sites worldwide on March 11 alone. But not all came from legitimate sources according to Sprinklr.
- By contrast, mentions of US President, Donald Trump, numbered roughly 4 million for the same day. Also, not all were legitimate.
- Facebook invests $100 million in the news industry at a time when the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means that accurate reporting is more important than ever.
- $25 million will be provided in grant funding for local news through the Facebook Journalism Project.
- $75 million will come in the form of “additional marketing spend” to worldwide news organizations.
- Microsoft, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube have issued a joint industry statement to combat fraud and misinformation about the virus.
Social media audiences are growing across the board
- 1 billion people have been sent from Facebook and Instagram to the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roughly 2.6 billion people use at least one of Facebook’s services daily, including Instagram and messaging service WhatsApp.
- 100 million people have clicked through pop-ups on the social networks to learn more about these resources, Facebook said.
- 52% of people now listen to podcasts.
- 40% increase in usage of WhatsApp as a result of COVID-19
- 15% increase in usage of Instagram Stories from a study by Klear.
- 2 million times between March 16 and 22 Tik Tok has been downloaded as millions of young people ages 12-25 now have oodles of time on their hands.
- 52 minutes a day is the average time of a user of Tik Tok.
But ads are down and cheaper due to less demand
- $44 billion loss in ad revenue for Facebook and Google due to COVID-19, according to estimates from analysts at Cowen & Co.
- That’s a decline of 18% to $127.5 billion for Google for the year.
- And a decline of 19% to $67.8 billion in revenue this year for Facebook.
- CPM (Cost Per Thousand) for Facebook Ads drop in March 2020 to $0.81. This is less than half of the previous seven-month high in late November 2019 of $1.88.
- CPC (Cost Per Click) decreases from $0.11 in January 2020 to $0.09 in March.
- CTR (Click Through Rate) drops 17% in March 2020 from a high for the year of 1.84% in January.
- 24% decrease in ad spend in the last two months.
- Google and Twitter have flatly told companies and trade groups that they will accept no advertising that includes a mention of “coronavirus” or “COVID-19,” to not appear to be profiting from the crisis.
- Twitter has withdrawn its revenue and profit forecast for the First Quarter.
- However, Twitter says that its monetizable DAU (mDAU) count is up to 164 million for the quarter, a 23% increase Q1 2019 (and up 8% from its most recent performance update).
- Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry, who upgraded Twitter shares TWTR, +0.30% to buy on optimism for surging user growth.
The takeaway is the audience for social media use has never been bigger and growing faster than now. But they are receiving both good information and misinformation. And it is harder than ever to cut through.
For businesses, ad dollars go farther. But they won’t cut through unless the voice and message for your brand are empathetic, compassionate and relevant.
Do these facts take you to the same conclusion?