Since the start of the pandemic, social media usage has accelerated beyond all expectations. The correlation with movie theatres closed, no restaurants to dine in, gyms to go to, and shopping malls deserted! The acceleration of social media usage does not come as a shock.
Even as in parts of Australia we are seeing restrictions easing new behaviours have been adopted. It is far to say that things are unlikely to be the way they were ever again. We have seen business digitally enable themselves in days. With digital transformation that would typically "take two years, take two months."
We are reading news updates, connecting, and refreshing our feeds often. And as a result of this surge, most businesses have turned their attention online to stay afloat. Smart companies have maintained a presence or increased awareness.
For those that can afford to do so, the economics make sense: higher attention, less competition.
Attention is one of the rarest commodities in the world, and it just increased in availability. At the same time as competition has decreased.
We have 7.8 billion people in the world today, and 3.8 billion are using social media. When you look at the numbers, it is staggering that we have become so connected, and this continues to grow.
The average time spent using social media is "1 hour, 22 minutes (1:22) per day in 2020, up nearly 7 minutes over last year." according to e-marketer.
Each social networking site will have different user engagement. It is beyond doubt that if you are in search of new clients, a new audience, or trying to maintain your current run rate, you must be digitally enabled. This means you have removed friction from your entire process and customer journey map.
If we analyse each social media platforms and social media statistics, we find growth in user adoption and users.
Facebook and Instagram
According to their quarterly report, Facebook now has a whopping 1.73 billion daily active users. This is an increase from the 1.66 billion reported in the last quarter. Across the family apps, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger, the daily active users have soared to 2.36 billion. At the same time, the monthly active users are over 3 billion.
But it doesn't stop there. With high usage, Facebook reports a significant drop in advert demands. Luckily, even with the decline in advert demand, Facebook's revenue increased to $17.7 billion, which is an 18% increase.
Moreover, Facebook is investing and adding new features to its platform. The latest feature is a 'Support Small Business' on Instagram stories. Through this sticker, users can show their love for your business. And consequently, you get to reach new customers and stay connected to them.
Other features include:
Shops on Instagram/Facebook — which allows users to browse for products on your page just like on a website and pay for it with Facebook pay.
Share live videos to IGTV — after live recording, you can share your videos with IGTV and reach an even larger audience. Probably not a lot of people doing this at the moment, unlike social proof model would suggest, this is an opportunity to lead. In marketing, it always pays to move where attention is and to be there first.
TikTok is known for its short and dance-related clips that warm the hearts of many. In the past, it appealed to the younger generation that loves memorable clips with loads of dancing and catchy tunes. But in the COVID times, things are different.
In 2019, TikTok had 738 million downloads. This number was enough to turn up the heat against WhatsApp, but not enough to surpass it, which at the time had 849 million downloads. But currently, TikTok has 2 billion downloads, which makes it the most downloaded platform.
Also, 2020 has seen an increase in new users outside the regular teenage demographic. A couple of months back, 70% of the platform's users were Gen Z (aged between 18 and 24). But now, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomer generations are getting on board. As a result, the TikTok community has achieved higher levels of engagement and reach faster than anticipated.
For other social platforms like Linkedin, engagement and utility will continue to grow. The practicality of this network is undeniable in today's environment and has never been more relevant.
If someone is searching for a new role, looking to network, or in business development, then LinkedIn is the social network to use. With 690 million members and growing from a professional and B2B perspective, it is the platform of choice.
Only outdone by Facebook, YouTube is the next most popular social network. With 1 billion hours of videos watched every day. In May of 2020, YouTube represented "7.14 per cent of the mobile social media market in the Asia Pacific region."
With 2 billion active users worldwide, and 79% per cent of Internet users saying they have a YouTube account! This social media platform that cannot be ignored.
And then we have Snapchat.
Completing the group is Snapchat, who increased the daily active users to 229 million in 2020. An increase of more than 20% year on year. Or to put that in perspective, they have added another 39 million people to their platform.
In 2020, the average time people spent on social media is two hours twenty-four minutes. Today with the global pandemic, lockdown, and social distancing, people have even more time to spare. This means that they spend even more time on social platforms.
We are using social as much as 14% more than in 2020.
For entertainment, education, employment, networking, and connection it is part of the new normal.
Yes, ok so the real question we should ask ourselves as marketers, and business owners are so what?
They might be paying more attention, but why would I market in such a disrupted world. I am going to offer you two quick examples.
In the great depression, companies that marketed in this period outgrew their competition. One of these companies was Proctor and Gamble (P&G). In 2019 they spent $10.1 billion on advertising and marketing services, making them the largest advertiser in the world.
Another excellent example is the traditional agency in Leo Burnett, who first opened his doors on the 5th of August 1935. In 2018 they billed $1.21 billion.
Every day social usage is going up, including messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp. With half the connected world active social media users, some may have become immune to what this means.
But it should not be lost on you! As a marketer or business leader, this presents a significant opportunity to engage an existing and new market digitally.
As we spend 2 hours and 14 minutes on social media platforms. The opportunity for you to sell products and services through digital in 2020 may well be the only path for survival.
The consumer and business buyer is on social, on their mobile device and desktop. As I have stated since the beginning of 2013, your business success depends on being effective on social and digital platforms.
At this stage, no one knows what the "new normal" is, but we do know it is digital.
Since 2013 Digital Stand has been helping clients exceed expectations on social and digital. For a free proposal and assessment, click the image below.
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