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Socialbakers Releases State of Social Media Report The Impact of COVID-19

Across all regions, users and brands are changing their online behaviour in response to COVID-19 and economic uncertainty, according to new Socialbakers State of Social Media Report

New York, April 2, 2020 Socialbakers, the leading social media marketing platform, today released its State of Social Media Report: The Impact of COVID-19, which examines how the global pandemic has affected the way in which users and brands engage over social media. The report dives into the implications on social media ad spend, CPC and engagement across social media channels. The goal of the report is to provide businesses with key insights into how the social media landscape is changing and how they should be marketing today to come out stronger tomorrow. Key findings include the rise in organic posts on social media, as ad budgets are being challenged, and how people are spending more time online during social distancing. The report also provides unique insights into East Asia, where the market is already showing signs of rebounding from the impact of the pandemic, as business resumes in the region. 

“Our latest social media data report reflects key insights from this unique time in our history. Because of uncertainty about the economic environment and the increase in users’ engagement with digital content, brands are increasing their use of organic content and decreasing their ad spend,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO, Socialbakers. “Brands should be future-proofing their business by embracing digital transformation. If this time is showing us anything, it’s that digital channels are where customer engagement is happening and businesses that neglect them do so at their peril.” 

Brands use social media to update audiences on COVID-19 pandemic

Socialbakers data show that posts mentioning coronavirus have been far more common on Facebook than on Instagram, suggesting that people may use Facebook more often when seeking news and updates. However, brands are using both platforms to update their audiences. By far, the industry with the highest post interactions was airlines, as millions of people scrambled to get answers through their airline’s social media channels. 

Audiences respond with ‘Love’ to brands’ coronavirus posts

About the same time brands shared messages of support or details of what they were doing to support their communities and employees, audiences responded with a dramatic increase in ‘Love’ reactions to coronavirus-related content from brand accounts. This suggests that during these trying and emotional times, people are appreciative of the brands they follow, and the actions they are taking to provide help and assistance. 

Audience spending more time online

With the rollout of social distancing around the world, Socialbakers data also shows that people in general are spending more time online every day in recent weeks. The fact that people are spending more time on social media means that they have more opportunity to see the content that brands are putting out. For example, the most recent data from the CET time zone in Europe shows online activity by fans of brand pages increased by 16.1% compared to the last full week in February. 

Facebook ad spend drops by half in North America and Western Europe 

Since the beginning of March as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, Facebook ad spend started to drop in regions such as North America, Western Europe, South Europe and South-East Asia. In particular, North America saw a steep decline as the pandemic took center stage, with Facebook ad spend dropping almost 50% between December 2019 and mid-March 2020. The impact was similar for Western Europe, which saw Facebook CPC decline by more than half from 0.43$ in December 2019 to 0.20$ in mid-March. This decline in ad cost presents an opportunity for B2B brands to drive awareness and thought leadership, while B2C brands can use this opportunity to acquire traffic at a lower cost.

Ad spend is recovering in East Asia

One bright spot from the Socialbakers data is that paid ad investment is once again picking up in East Asia, as the region starts to resume business. In that region, Facebook CPC actually increased by 25.6% in March. 

“In times of crisis brands can’t not communicate with their audience. Now, more than ever, customers want to hear from the brands they follow, so cutting back completely on social media investment could prove to be a misguided approach,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO, Socialbakers. “Brand marketers need to be mindful that, faced with the prospect of social distancing and more time at home, their audiences will be looking to the digital world to keep them feeling connected, updated and entertained. All in all, marketers looking to engage their audience today can do so by taking advantage of cheaper ads, with smart organic strategies, or a winning combination of both.”

The Socialbakers’ State of Social Media Report: The Impact of COVID-19 is now available for free download. 

About Socialbakers

Socialbakers is the trusted social media management partner to thousands of enterprise brands and SMBs. Leveraging the largest social media data-set in the industry, Socialbakers’ AI-powered social media marketing suite helps brands large and small ensure their investment in social media is delivering measurable business outcomes.

With over 2,500 clients across 100 countries, Socialbakers is the leading social media management platform, tracking 10 million social profiles across all major social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and Socialbakers has been a Facebook Marketing Partner since 2011, a Pinterest Marketing Partner since 2017 and a LinkedIn Marketing Partner since 2017.

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