Social Media Engagement Drops to Lowest Rate in 2020
As People Leave Quarantine, Companies Faced with Social Media Challenges
According to Rival IQ, a social media marketing analytics platform, social media engagement on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is waning as states reopen from COVID-19, people exit quarantine, and social justice is at the forefront of many people’s minds.
And as people focus their attentions elsewhere and spend less time on their computers or phones, it poses a unique challenge for companies and other organizations that are trying to reach their target audiences.
Looking at January 5 to May 30, Rival IQ found that engagement rates dipped to their lowest points for the entirety of 2020 for Facebook and Instagram, with Twitter almost hitting that low point.
Engagement peaked in mid-March when quarantine was still new and people were regularly engaging and posting content:
- Facebook saw engagement rate peak at 0.068%,
- Instagram hit a peak of 0.949%, and
- Twitter saw a boost to 0.055%.
But ever since that time, as people began to experience “quarantine fatigue” engagement has steadily declined on all three platforms. Through May:
- Facebook saw engagement rates drop to 0.052%,
- Instagram dropped to 0.826%, and
- Twitter fell to 0.042%.
Rival IQ also examined various industries and tracked their engagement as well since the start of the year for all three platforms. A few key highlights include:
- Across the board, sports teams have seen significant loss in engagement on all three platforms, which makes sense considering NASCAR, MLB, NHL, NBA and other sports had their seasons canceled or postponed.
- Though it is worth noting engagement has begun to rebound.
- On Instagram, only higher education accounts are maintaining strong engagement (most likely due to schools at all levels moving online for wrap up semesters, but it’s likely engagement could drop over summer months),
- Virtually all industries have seen a decrease in engagement on Facebook.
- Hotels and resorts are beginning to rebound on Twitter, seeing increased engagement rates most likely thanks to state reopening.
These decreases are not surprising as people are ready to get out of their homes, as well as address the political and social unrest issues throughout the country.
At the same time, companies and their brands can still enhance their social media accounts to overcome or manage these drops. Five recommendations that businesses and other organizations can apply to their social media strategy to keep audiences engaged include:
- Post relevant and timely content that draws people in. You might feel like no one is reading your content, but if you stop posting, there will be nothing to read at all.
- Keep consumers aware of your plans for reopening and resuming service, or what hygiene practices they need to follow when visiting your office or store.
- If you’re still helping healthcare workers on the frontlines in your community – making masks or making donations to healthcare organizations – continue to share that.
- Try adjusting when your content is posted. For example, if we know college students are home for summer and working jobs during the day, higher education account may want to try posting in early mornings or the evening when students are home.
- Lastly, there is a lot going on in the world, but it doesn’t mean you have to be serious all the time. It is ok to have fun with content that is different from your normal posts.
For additional information regarding communications and social media during the coronavirus pandemic, please visit Xenophon’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Team webpage at: https://xenophonstrategies.com/covid-19-response.
Getting Back to Work is an ongoing series on health and safety regarding COVID-19 from Xenophon Strategies, in partnership with Dr. David Hamer, a professor at the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine with more than 30 years of experience in epidemiological diseases. Through the partnership Xenophon is working with Dr. Hamer to provide science-based recommendations and guidance on how employers, employees, and families should best respond to and combat the COVID-19 pandemic.