The Evolution of Consumer Social Media Behavior During COVID-19



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For the thousands of Americans who can’t see one another in person due to shelter-in-place mandates across the country, social media has become a core utility. But how exactly has their behavior on social media evolved over the course of the past few weeks?

To get some answers, Social Media Week partnered with Suzy to ask nearly 1,000 consumers about their recent habits. After conducting the questionnaire, Suzy Founder/CEO Matt Britton and Social Media Week Founder Toby Daniels hosted a comprehensive webinar presentation to report the findings.

About Suzy

Whether you’re a novice or an expert researcher, Suzy helps you make better, faster, more data-driven decisions. The Suzy platform combines advanced research tools with the highest quality audience to deliver trusted insights in minutes.

How Consumers are Using Social Media During COVID-19

Our survey explored the frequency, the most important use case of social channels, and whether people are actually aware of how much more time they’re spending on social media during the lockdown. Here are a few highlights of the results:

  • 63% of consumers have used social media more in the past two weeks
  • 55% say they’re primarily using social media for communication.
  • 54% aren’t paying attention to the amount of time that they’re spending on social platforms

To dig deeper into the specifics of how social media compares to other current communication methods, a consumer panel was asked about the tools they frequently use to keep in touch with one another. Here is what they shared:

  • 57% of consumers use phone calls
  • 55% use Facebook
  • 36% use Whatsapp
  • 34% use Instagram
  • 26% use Facetime
  • 21% use Skype
  • 19% use Zoom

While traditional phone calls are still the most popular way for consumers to reach their friends and loved ones during this time, the sudden rise of interest in video communication tools including Zoom is not to be overlooked. Despite being originally intended for enterprise clients, the remote conference client has seen a 50 percent surge in daily users and up to 300 million meeting participants since the start of the crisis.

Influencers & Brands in a Post-Covid Age

Our survey also explored the future of influencers and brands and the role social media will play in their relationships with audiences in a post-COVID world. Thirty-eight percent of consumers are sharing entertainment content on social media, making it the most popular form of content compared to inspirational messages (32%), news about COVID-19 (27%), and even information on gathering food and supplies (27%).

In terms of how consumers expect brands to find the balance between using influencers to promote their product or service and being sensitive to the situation we face, 43 percent of consumers believe brands should still be using social media influencers to provide information, positive messages, and promotions right while 49 percent still believe brands should remain an integral part of the social media experience.

So what exactly is the most popular platform during COVID-19?

Facebook reigns supreme with 57 percent of consumers report using it the most, a large reason why has to do with the substantial growth in live streaming. If you work with a brand and want to incorporate live streaming into your content strategy moving forward, here are some consumer sentiment insights to note:

  • 52% of consumers would be interested in attending a remote skill class.
  • 45% would participate in a remote fitness class held by a gym, personal trainer, or social media influencer
  • 43% of consumers — and statistically more female consumers, at 53% vs. 34% for males — would show up to a livestreamed music performance or DJ set

For more insights into how consumers are engaging with social media while social distancing, check out the full recording of our recent webinar in partnership with our friends at Suzy, “Social Media During Social Distancing.” If you’re interested in connecting with consumers yourself and learn more about Suzy, reach out here.

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