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Digital Marketing Trends 2020: How social media usage is changing

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Social media platforms right now

There is one universal truth concerning social media platforms right now. International usage has skyrocketed during the pandemic and there is no stopping this juggernaut. According to GlobalWebIndex who recently published their annual flagship social media report, consumers are on track to spend, on average, 863.8 hours on social media in 2020. That is a whopping 36 days. What’s more interesting is that the report tells us that the way that people are using social media is changing too. So amid this rapid increase of usage how are people using social media differently and how can we adapt our content strategy to take full advantage?


Video Domination

One clear trend is the uptake in video content. Around 1 in 5 parents with young children say they have created videos on social media apps. It has even given birth to a new platform, TikTok. According to mobile industry analysts Sensor Tower, one in three Brits – 24 million people – has TikTok installed on their devices. The week before Boris Johnson announced the lockdown, 278,000 UK users downloaded TikTok on their phones. For the week of 23 March, when lockdown was enforced, UK installations surged by 34%. This extends to live streaming too. Twitch — the biggest live-streaming platform — saw its hours watched jumping 50% between March and April and a full 101% year over year. It’s now up to 1.645 billion hours watched per month.


Social News Behaviour Shift

Doomscrolling’, meaning the compulsion to keep reading bad news online, has emerged as a potential new dictionary admission. Yes, news-related content is up on social media, the report confirms, however, there is a lack of trust from consumers. While 47% of internet users now turn to social media for news, only 14% see it as the most trustworthy source. This period has seen trust become a new competitive front amongst social media companies, with Facebook implementing new privacy controls, Twitter introducing COVID-19 hubs, and TikTok facing deeper scrutiny over privacy protection. As current affairs become the bedrock of social media engagement, attention is moving away from limiting personal usage of social platforms and towards how those platforms manage conversations.


Back to Chat – a social behaviour deja-vu

Although news and entertainment have become more popular reasons to use social media, the pandemic has also shaken up a long-standing decline in the “social” element of social media. Between 2017 and 2020, staying in contact with friends fell as a primary reason for using social media, from 42% to 33% of consumers. In recent custom research, however, the study found that 55% of those who communicate in public or private channels in the U.S., UK and Japan have been sharing more in the last two months.


How to adapt your content to suit these changes

There is no one size fits all. It is incredibly important for businesses to do research and plan effectively before creating content on social media. For example, whilst video is exploding in popularity all over the world including the UK and Japan, it might not be the most effective method for your business right now. At TAMLO we can assist in helping you to collect data on what the most effective channels are for your business and how to create the right content. We can also help turn the data into action by organising content strategy and branding workshops so that you can put science behind your content decision making. So please do get in touch to find out how we can help.

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