Social Distancing and Social Media

A woman using a laptop while wearing a surgical mask

Social distancing and stay-at-home policies due to COVID-19 have undoubtedly impacted online behaviors. With less opportunity for social interaction, people are forced to find entertainment elsewhere, such as on the internet, and with games and apps. 


According to a recent report from Verizon, people are 3.7x more likely to watch an online video and 3.2x more likely to want to play video games than before Coronavirus. Similarly, other studies are showing that people are spending more time on social media and apps. According to the latest report from App Annie, daily time spent in apps on Android devices increased 20% year-over-year in Q1 2020. All social apps have reported increased usage and engagement. Given that we’re all stuck inside and looking for ways to stay entertained and connected, this isn’t very surprising. So, if you’re looking to connect with audiences, the data clearly shows that social apps and streaming services are where you should put your resources. But how do you push a campaign without sounding tone-deaf during a crisis where many people are fearful about their job security and well-being of their families?


It’s difficult to know how to talk to customers under the current circumstances, but one way your brand can continue connecting with audiences with relevant and consistent messages without sounding insincere is to leverage influencers and micro-influencers through organic partnerships. Working with influencers has already been a popular marketing strategy before the crisis, as consumers look to influencers as a voice of authority. However, social media influencers are reporting higher levels of engagement from their followers lately as users are looking for familiar faces that they trust and who give a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos. To give you an example, the outdoor brand, Dakine, launched a digital campaign called ‘Mind Surfing’ with its influencer athlete partners, showing how they are staying busy and getting outdoors responsibly while doing things like cooking, making art, and doing yoga. Although this example showcases a large brand, there is a wide range of micro-influencers out there for small and mid-sized companies as well.  Increased viewership on Twitch also presents opportunities for working with streaming influencers to target niche audiences in the gaming and music communities.


Partnering with influencers can be an effective way to connect with audiences in an authentic way, and influencers can be an especially valuable asset during a crisis that makes it challenging to communicate effectively with potential customers. While it’s unlikely you’ll find a huge celebrity to promote your brand, you can still find niche micro-influencers to rave about your brand to mutual target audiences. There are plenty of tools for finding influencers out there. The key is to do your research, understand your goals, and know your target audience.