Have we become more social through isolation?

Social media has been a daily feature in many of our lives for years now, but due to the unprecedented events of 2020, social media has arguably become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The challenges of lockdown have driven people to online platforms in a bid to maintain relationships and networks virtually. From family gatherings to work socials, socialising within the digital realm is now becoming our new normal.

For many, the way that we use social media has shifted during this time, particularly for those on furlough or shielding and unable to leave the house. From being an add-on to our normal routines and limited to use when we had the time, social media is now even more ingrained in our day-to-day.

Staying connected

As well as being a means of staying connected – with family and friends, work colleagues and the world in general, social media has provided millions with purpose and a form of focus during these strange times, particularly in the form of TikTok dance challenges. As our account executive and TikTok Queen, Kara will tell you, learning and perfecting those routines takes a lot of time and effort, and for some, that has been invaluable when life as we knew it suddenly ground to a halt.

Social media is used not only as a source of entertainment and escapism, but also as a source of information, connection and communication. This increased reliance on online platforms unquestionably means the use of social media by brands and organisations has changed, with campaigns and interactions being tailored to reflect the tone and mood of the public, becoming more personable in a way that hasn’t been seen before.

As an integrated PR agency, Liquid has adapted to the challenges that lockdown created in terms of clients’ events. Planned public events for West Midlands 5G and Maple from Canada were instead delivered digitally, allowing them to go ahead in a safe and responsible way.

Engagement on the rise

Increased engagement gives brands and organisations the opportunity to truly connect with their audiences and build on maintaining those all-important consumer relationships. With an engagement increase of 61% across social platforms since lockdown began, the role of social media has become increasingly prominent in the lives of many.

This is something Liquid has seen with many of our own clients over the past few months. One of our clients, Longbridge Life – a community page where we share updates from local businesses in and around Longbridge – saw a 268% increase in Facebook reach, a 270% increase in impressions, and an 89% increase in Twitter engagement during May.

“The huge increase in reach and engagement we’ve seen with Longbridge Life’s social channels during lockdown has shown just how important social media is in local communities. People have been using the channels to find details of store openings, hear positive, community news, and enjoy some light-hearted relief in the form of emoji quizzes!” said social media manager, Clare.

“It’s clear that, at this time more than ever, people are turning to social media. Be that for news, escapism, or to stay connected, there’s never been a better time to take full advantage of your social media presence.”

Changes in daily routines and behavioural patterns means brands and organisations are not only having to specifically tailor their content, but also their strategy. Adapting to the current climate effectively results in positive experiences online for both brands/organisations and their audiences.

It still remains to be seen what the new normal will look like, but it’s safe to say that social media will continue to have a huge part to play.

Yasmin Akhtar, Junior Content Executive