Why Social Media Became More Prevalent Post-Pandemic?

Business Development, Get Things Done, Marketing, Sales, SEO, Social Media
A person holding a phone scrolling through social media

The pandemic changed many things about the world—one of those changes being how we connect with people. Inherently, the human race is constantly looking for ways to socialize. Thus, social media saw significant spikes in usage and engagement across all platforms. At a time when the world stood still, humans tried to fill the gap and continue to connect via social media. Let’s dive into why social media has entered the chat post-pandemic.

How have businesses adapted their social media strategies post-pandemic?

The Big Shift occurred when companies realized that if they couldn’t connect with potential customers in person, they would have to turn to social media. Many businesses had to shift their marketing efforts and launch a new era of communication and engagement with their consumers. Although most companies now realize that social media is important, many don’t know how to make a social media presence work in their favor. 

Nowadays, merely having a social media presence is inadequate. Similar to Darwinism, social media can weed out the weak while propelling adaptable businesses forward. Businesses have had to adapt to this new shift in social media and change to succeed. 

The biggest successes for businesses on social media are usually due to the business’s willingness to be open, authentic, and interactive while engaging with their consumers. Take Duolingo, for example. They have made some seemingly outrageous social media choices. However, it was these same choices that launched their platform into the spotlight through their use of humor and trends. Now their brand has a recognizable, albeit salty mascot, and a story that people can connect and engage with. As more brands begin to take the type of approach that Duolingo did with their consumers, we are seeing companies’ followings grow overnight.

How has the pandemic affected user behavior and engagement on social media platforms?

During the pandemic, people had fewer opportunities for in-person interactions, a limited selection of safely distanced activities, and much less time outdoors. These shifts meant that social media platforms were the best way to remain social.

The pandemic also brought forth a new wave of empathy in social media. Humans have an innate tendency to relate to the things around them. We pick up on patterns, assign values to things and people, and tend to be attracted to that with which we find common ground. Thus, the companies that “take a stance” on important values, issues, and news have begun to attract more loyal consumers. It is hard to lose a consumer when your values as a company can align with their personal beliefs.

If taking a stance isn’t for you, giving your social media a positive tone is the best way to go. Humans tend to enjoy things that make them feel happy and feel good. The more positive your social media presence is, the more likely consumers are to buy, engage, and recommend your company to others.

The last thing, but probably the most important, is to engage! You can post a million cool photos or videos and get tons of likes but that conversion from casual browser to loyal customer comes from giving your consumer a voice. Give users a reason to comment, like, share, follow, and buy. Ask for their opinions and answer their questions. This goes a long way in creating loyalty among your consumers.

How has the pandemic accelerated the adoption of new social media platforms or features?

The pandemic has changed the way we view and use social media. We saw a massive uptick in using videos and reels across all platforms. During the pandemic, TikTok emerged as a top player for their innovative algorithm and video-making/editing capabilities. Shortly after TikTok’s success, Instagram and Facebook followed suit with their launch of reels. Quickly, video posts became the preferred format for social media.

Seeing everyday people dance, laugh, and give advice over a video became an addictive pastime. A picture may say a thousand words, but a video is interactive and makes us feel like we are getting to know a business on a personal level. From educational tidbits to employee appreciation videos, allowing people to feel like an insider of your business will help them feel trust and loyalty toward you as a company.

What are the long-term effects on mental health and social well-being that come from increased use of social media?

Social media is known to bring certain risks to our mental health and our social well-being. While having a digital life was seen as a positive when it was the only way to interact safely during the pandemic, we had to consider some of the more harmful effects that it can have on our mental health.

As with anything, moderation is key; use social media sparingly! In smaller doses, social media is a great way to connect with others, but a healthy balance of real-life engagement is good for us, too. Setting time limits on social media apps can serve as a reminder to engage socially in other ways.

Another thing to keep in mind is that people only share what they want to share on social media. Remember that what we are viewing is often a “highlight reel” of a person’s life. While someone may look like they have a picture-perfect existence, it may be far from that. It is important to note that you never know what someone else is going through, and it is always best to be kind.

How do we protect ourselves from misinformation?

It is important to remember that misinformation runs rampant on social media. Anyone with a phone can say whatever they want about anything. Social media platform moderators are not reliably diligent about flagging false or misleading content. Not everything you see online is the truth. Here are some ways to avoid spreading misinformation:

  • Fact check. See if other reputable sources offer information on the topic. It is always best to consider the motives of the content producers, as well as which entities are funding the production. Be a critical thinker!
  • Diversify your news. Many people form biases based on social media posts that may be more opinion-based. Remember that diversifying the types of information you ingest will help you be more knowledgeable. Algorithms are specifically designed to keep us in positive feedback loops of receiving preferred information, regardless of the accuracy of the content.

To better understand all the risks of social media, research is imperative. As we continue to learn more about social media, there will always be new ways we can adapt to make it a safe and more honest place for everyone.

How does a business’s presence on social media impact our thoughts after The Big Shift? 

In the wake of the pandemic, it is wise to analyze what was working for your business during that time. If you don’t yet have any social media presence, what are your competitors doing to stand out? Finding ways to put a unique spin on trends and planning new strategies for social media can help raise awareness of your business. Fear of operating outside of your comfort zone will leave you in the dust of your competitors. It is important to note that social media does not always need to be highly polished or serious.

Today’s social media climate shows that a business’s online presence should include a healthy mix of informative, entertaining, and employee/customer-focused content. In general, there is a lack of incentive to interact with an aloof or stodgy business. More so, audiences want to connect with the people behind what that business produces. The more you encourage the involvement of your consumers on social media, the more likely they are to feel like they truly know and can relate to your business.

How has the pandemic re-shaped how we view social media today?

The pandemic reshaped our view on social media tenfold. As consumers, we love to see businesses with positive news, exciting ideas, and fun, interactive ways to engage with us. Today, we use social media to discover new brands, shop, and even recommend our favorite things to others. Anyone who has had a highly-visible brand share their content can attest to the excitement of it. Businesses that take the time to share user-generated content tend to receive an ongoing pool of even more content to choose from.

Another thing we learned is that people like to see vulnerability, personality, and authenticity on the pages they follow. Since the pandemic, people are more appreciative of openness and honesty from the businesses they connect with. Share the mistakes and failures of your business as often as you share the successes. This openness is a goldmine of relatable content that your audience will appreciate.

Moving forward, social media will continue to be the preferred way for consumers to interact and choose who they do their business with. Social media allows businesses to quickly see and adapt to what consumers want. Engagement on social media is one of the easiest ways to gain helpful feedback and insights from loyal consumers, all while continuing to gain new ones. Think of social media as a way to commodify the community. Help your audience feel like a part of something bigger than themselves, and watch as your social media efforts usher in new levels of success for your business.

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