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3 Social Media Trends During COVID-19 Crisis



1. Advertising- All about the money
2. Therapeutic nature of COVID-19
3. Social media usage- How far will you go?

According to (Holmes, 2020) on December 21st, 2019 was the first time COVID-19 came onto the world stage in China.

On March 4th, 2020, the United Kingdom saw a massive increase in COVID-19, which marked its introduction of lockdown on March 20th, 2020, which changed the landscape for trends for Social Media and customer engagement, including:

1. Advertising- All about the money

Spend or not spend?

According to (WARC, 2020), the spending for digital advertising dropped by 5%; however, display advertising grew by 0.3% and video by 5.7% (Fig 2), which was accounted for by people staying at home during the lockdown. Most online businesses increased spend, Walt Disney in the UK (Sweney, 2020), Spent more than £10.2m to promote Disney+ its video streaming platform

Graph of video spending increase in 2020 v 2019 For Article by Paresh M Patel- Digital Marketing Consultant

(Fig 2- (WARC, 2020))

Crisis in cutbacks

Approximately 86% of advertisers are looking to make cuts in media spending as the pandemic continuous, which is leading the way to a “Coronavirus recession” caused by COVID-19 (Jarboe, 2020).

Not a laughing matter

According to KANTAR (KANTAR, 2020), in the current COVID-19 climate and the high use of social media video platforms such as YouTube, many still want to see advertising. They did not wish brands to use humor when promoting their products.
This is linked to the current severe climate, which should not be diluted with unnecessary humor. And humor to promote a brand and make money.

The downside

With the pandemic taking traditional bricks and mortar retailers advertising has fallen (Fig 3), which has led many dominant online social media sites such as Facebook and Google to predict to lose more than $44 billion in advertising revenue (Marketing, Influencer, 2020).

Brands to be most impacted by COVIS-19- For Article by Paresh M Patel- Digital Marketing Consultant

Fig 3 ( (Li & Hall, 2020)

2. Therapeutic nature of COVID-19

Made Worse

COVID-19 has made mental health worse (Morris, 2020), with people eating less healthy food, sleeping less, eating less regular meals, and talking less to friends and family.

Filling out time!

In the lockdown period, users were spending more time on social media channels than before lockdown; the main reasons were according to Global Web Index (Synder, 2020) included:

  • News, which introduced a term called “doomscrolling”- where people read headline news, which shows negative pieces of information rather than the positive aspects, which is only right during periods of lockdown and uncertainty
  • Find humorous content
  • Fill uptime
  • See what friends and family are up to.

All this helped individuals cope, where 57% of people said that social media helped them feel less isolated during the COVID-19 outbreak (Synder, 2020). Also, they felt more inclined to be who they are rather than be a different public version of themselves.

Quicker connections

A popular messaging app such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp saw their usage go up drastically, especially those countries which were in lockdown. Facebook messenger saw a 50% increase in use (Marketing, Influencer, 2020), with engagement up in other social platforms, including Twitter, which saw a fourfold increase (Marketing, Influencer, 2020).

Improved wellbeing

According to (Morris, 2020) mental health concerns, 23% of the public were worried that their mental health would worsen during the pandemic. Social media helps combat loneliness and anxiety, allowing more connections online than in person (Gilsenan, 2020).
With GlobalWebIndex (Synder, 2020)(Fig 4), 57% of people felt less lonely and 48% less anxious about social media use.
However, the long-term effects not be felt until a thorough analysis is carried out after the pandemic has stopped being a problem.

The therapeutic side of social media- For Article by Paresh M Patel- Digital Marketing Consultant

(Fig 4- (Synder, 2020))

3. Social media usage- How far will you go?

Comparison to the previous period

According to (Kemp, 2020) the number of people using social media (July 2020), has increased by 10.5%, compared to the previous period in 2019, with men spending longer 46% and women 41% using social media (Fig 5) during the COVID period  (Kemp, 2020).
COVID19- Increas i online and digital activities- For Article by Paresh M Patel- Digital Marketing Consultant

(Fig 5 –  (Kemp, 2020))

Twitter also saw a 23% increase (Bishop, 2020)

User-generated content

This has led to increased usage and a marked increase in user-generated content creation, especially from platforms like Tik Tok, which was seen in April (Synder, 2020). With 12 million US visitors and 2 billion downloads of their video content.
This accelerated growth in video content will increase in this era, as a wide range of audiences are “jumping on the bandwagon”, to grow in user participation, e.g., parents making videos to bond with their children (Trifonova, 2020).
This shows that consumers want more content and relevant, targeted content to avoid boredom (Synder, 2020).


Building trust – we will entertain you

Some 65% of consumers are looking more and more to Social Media channels (Jarboe, 2020) for news on COVID-19 data such as infection rates, public announcements, e.g., wearing facemasks and keeping a two-meter safe distance between other people.
Also, 46% of consumers wanted “feel good” content (Jarboe, 2020) to make the COVID-19 period more bearable.
Also, consumers will respond favorably to messaging that demonstrates value for money, reliability, and care (Trifonova, 2020)


Brand engagement- making the most of the pandemic!

As with the increase in consumer usage, brands have also seen an increase in engagements, according to (Arens, 2020), with 44 engagements per day and 7.3 more engagements per post. The main target markets included consumer goods, health care, media, and entertainment (Arens, 2020).



Arens, E. (2020, April 27). How COVID-19 has changed social media engagement. Retrieved from Sproutsocial:

Bishop, K. (2020, October 21). How COVID-19 Has Changed Social Media Trends. Retrieved from

Gilsenan, K. (2020, July 1). Closely connected: social media’s role during COVID-19. Retrieved from Global Web Index:

Holmes, F. (2020, April 08). COVID-19 Timeline. Retrieved from British Foreign Policy:

Jarboe, G. (2020, April 23). 7 Brands That Are Looking Awful During the Coronavirus Pandemic. Retrieved from search engine journal:

KANTAR. (2020, April 23). Retrieved from COVID-19 Barometer: More than half of Millennials’ and GenZ’s household incomes impacted :

Kemp, S. (2020, July 21). Digital 2020. Retrieved from datareportal:

Li, C., & Hall, S. (2020, June 08). This is how COVID-19 is affecting the advertising industry. Retrieved from World Economic Forum:

Marketing, Influencer. (2020, September 23). Coronavirus (COVID-19) Marketing & Ad Spend Impact: Report + Stats (Updated September). Retrieved from Influencer Marketing:

Morris, T. (2020, April 27). Rising mental health concerns: why support should be ongoing. Retrieved from Global Web Index: Rising mental health concerns: why support should be ongoing

Sweney, M. (2020, August 4). UK advertisers pulled more than £1.1bn spend during Covid lockdown. Retrieved from The Guardian:

Synder, V. (2020, August 10). What Marketers Need to Know About People’s Social Media Patterns During the Pandemic. Retrieved from

Trifonova, V. (2020, August 4). How the outbreak has changed the way we use social media. Retrieved from globalwebindex:

WARC. (2020, 10 16). Video adspend bucks H1 digital dip. Retrieved from WARC:

About Paresh Patel
A digital marketing consultant, offering online marketing solutions

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A digital marketing consultant offering offering innovative and creative marketing solutions for business growth

Paresh Patel

Digital Marketing Consultant

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