Blog>The Role of Social Media During Social Distancing
In a time of global isolation, social connection is more valued than ever, and what better way to virtually connect than through social media?
According to the consumer insights platform Suzy, 55% of consumers are using social media to communicate with friends and family and 34% to stay up to date with news and current events. It’s no surprise that during a time of social distancing users are utilising social media to maintain social connections, from Zoom ‘pub’ quizzes to virtual Facebook ‘happy hours,’ traditional real world social activities are migrating to the digital sphere.
Aside from offering individuals a means to stay connected, social media platforms have become a primary source of news and information for many. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have made it easier than ever to share information and personal stories from healthcare professionals and individuals alike. Information shared by experts on these platforms has played a critical role in helping people to understand the risks associated with the virus and the necessary precautions.
However, social media has exacerbated the spread of misinformation, with conspiracy theories quickly gaining traction. This has amplified feelings of anxiety and stress during an already troubling time. Constantly viewing content centred around the pandemic can be overwhelming to many, heightening feelings of isolation and loneliness.
One of the most significant changes for brands has been the shift to digital and social media channels as a primary means of reaching customers. With physical shopfronts closed, and in-person events cancelled, social media has become a vital tool in keeping customers informed and engaged. Many brands have shifted their focus to e-commerce and online sales, using social media to drive traffic to their websites and promote their products.
In addition to e-commerce, companies have been using social media to create a sense of community. Brands have been leveraging live-streaming and video conferencing to host virtual events, webinars, and even cooking classes, to connect with customers and offer some semblance of normalcy.
It’s no wonder that the social media space is booming. For individuals, these platforms are a tool in maintaining relationships despite physical distance, easing feelings of isolation and supporting the spread of useful resources. For brands, social media has provided a means by which to build a community, communicate information and support customers. With ongoing social distancing measures, social media will continue to play a crucial role in connecting individuals and brands, which will likely continue far beyond the pandemic.
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