The pandemic triggered many changes in the way that we live, work and interact. Social media use, and the expectations that consumers have of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, shifted significantly too. Not only were more people on Instagram etc during the pandemic (social media use jumped by more than 10% between July 2019 and July 2020) but the way that users now respond to brands, and the social strategies that have an impact, have changed too. That’s why it’s so important to rethink what you know about customer social habits post-COVID.

Creative and entertaining content gets more engagement

The pandemic saw a significant shift towards content with entertainment at its core – 42% of Gen Z social media users now say they want more “fun” from the content they are willing to engage with. Standards are higher because we are increasingly seeing customers creating and editing their own content – TikTok really took off with over 2 billion downloads by April 2020 and Instagram consequently launched Reels. Given the constant bad news days and challenging conditions of the past year it’s no surprise that people have been turning to social platforms to express creativity and be entertained – that’s a trend any brand can capitalise on with the right strategy.

Organic and user-generated content

Advertising budgets were slashed during 2020 and restrictions meant that filming ads and marketing became tricky. As a result we have seen a significant rise in the integration of user-generated content and a spike in popularity of more organic content. User-generated content can be an incredibly powerful tool for businesses, especially as it appeals so much to other consumers. If you’re keen to get started using this type of content in your social media strategy then look at where your customers are already sharing and the platforms that they are most likely to use. There are some simple ways you can encourage consumers to start sharing this type of content for you:

  • Use incentives such as competitions and giveaways
  • Build virtual events and live streaming into your social strategy
  • Create a clear, unifying message you can build a social community around
  • Be proactive about interacting with posts that are shared and expressing gratitude

The best time to engage has changed

  • Facebook. Previously, if you were posting on Facebook on a Wednesday between 11am and 2pm then you would be hitting an engagement sweet spot. However, as online activity spiked during the pandemic, Facebook top engagement windows are now Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 10 and 11am.
  • Twitter. Wednesday and Friday at 9am used to be the optimum time to post on Twitter. This hasn’t changed a great deal (Twitter use was more consistent and less changeable during the pandemic) as Fridays 7am – 9am now represent the best moment.
  • Instagram. Wednesday and Friday mornings used to be the best options for Instagram but use of the platform spiked sharply during the past year. Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 11am are all optimum times today, as well as the weekend (which is a big change) where activity is now higher between 9am and 5pm.

If you’re keen to do more with your investment in social media strategy then this needs to start by rethinking what you know about customer habits on platforms like Facebook and Instagram post-COVID. To find out how Iconic Digital can help you with your social media channels, get in touch today, call us on 020 7100 0726. Find out more about our Social Media Marketing Agency in London.