Humans are innately social animals, per Aristotle. We need to communicate, connect and reflect each other. It’s our nature. Which explains why social media is winning the pandemic. Social media is proving a stop-gap for social distancing and stay-safe-at-home practices. Some channels are getting more love than others, but overall use is up in the U.S., according to eMarketer studies.
+ Adult social network users to log an average of 1 hour, 22 minutes (1:22) per day in 2020, up nearly 7 minutes over last year. Before the coronavirus outbreak, eMarketer had predicted a mere 6-second bump in time spent on social media. This will be the first year of positive growth in time spent among US social users since 2017.
+ Instagram is the winningest. The channel is expected to enjoy the biggest percentage increase in time spent by users this year, compared with Facebook and Snapchat. Daily time among adult Instagram users will jump 13.8% this year to nearly 30 minutes per day. That’s an increase of almost 4 minutes over last year.
+ Snapchat is first runner up when it comes to increased engagement among users. While it’s partly due to COVID-19, Snapchat was already seeing increased time spent with AR lenses, as well as original shows and other content on the Discover page. In 2020, daily time spent among adult Snapchat users will grow 12.0% to 29.5 minutes per day, a jump of 3 minutes over 2019, according to eMarketer.
+ Facebook is expected to podium by comparison. Facebook (excluding Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp) will benefit the least from the 2020 bump, adding 1.4 minutes per day among adult users, bringing average daily usage to just over 34 minutes per day.
Stories are getting a lot of play—everywhere. Since Snapchat introduced the concept of stories, the format has grown substantially. Stories have spread across the social media landscape, from Instagram to Facebook, and more recently to Twitter and LinkedIn. Consumers regularly engage with stories. Four in 10 Instagram users and one-third of Facebook users watched someone else’s Story in the past month, according to our March research with Bizrate.
+ Stories have evolved from an experimental format to an essential format for many marketers, per eMarketer research. Brands are using stories for organic marketing, influencer marketing and paid advertising. Marketers that use stories effectively see them as not only an additional content distribution vehicle or simply a fun way to show off, but also as a way to foster closer relationships with dedicated customers and fans. And the ability to swipe up from organic Stories on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat is yielding strong results in the areas of lead generation, conversion and purchase.
+ Brands can use stories to build emotional engagement and community, which is especially important now. Consumers want to know that the brands they buy and love are taking steps to protect them and to help the community.
Look Who’s Banking Online Now
The coronavirus outbreak has forced many consumers out of their comfort zones. Since many bank branches have been closed during the pandemic, more consumers are using digital banking and payments, according to recent research.
+ An April William Mills Agency survey conducted by The Harris Poll found that 73% of U.S. adults were more likely to leverage digital banking and payments while social distancing. Respondents making more than $50,000 per year were even more likely to make financial transactions online. It’s uncertain whether consumers who prefer to bank in person will continue to opt for online post pandemic. Meanwhile, it’s a great opportunity for banks and credit unions to win over the most reluctant adopters.