In the early days of the pandemic, social media stood out as a winner, and younger consumers are still dedicating a large amount of time to the medium. Twenty percent of consumers still intend to carry on with using social media services and messaging apps after the pandemic is over.
However, eMarketer data from June suggests that even though up to 51% of U.S. consumers were using social media at higher rates during the pandemic, the research firm believes consumers will eventually get back to their normal routines of school, work and social activities, allowing the social media trends we’re seeing now to moderate.
Social justice issues too added their own complexity to social media. By late May, the focus on social issues across the country resulted in campaign performance declines across all categories as people collectively paused their social media usage during Memorial Day weekend and the national protests. Social media advertising also began to experience hurdles as platforms put in place additional procedures for monitoring and flagging controversial topics. Pandemic-aside, July brought an entirely new crop of issues and changes for social media with the #StopHateForProfit Facebook ad boycott. Advertisers used that time to shift media from social platforms to other (safer) channels. Even though Facebook felt minimal pain from the last major advertiser boycott (remember Cambridge Analytica?), some experts believe this boycott will be different and have bigger, more lasting effects if Facebook doesn’t implement structural change. Curious how to reduce your reliance on Facebook, read Jay Friedman’s recent Ad Age byline or save your seat for our upcoming webinar on the topic.