How COVID-19 has changed social media engagement

As life & routines changed overnight, people moved online to get news, updates, be entertained and communicate. Social media became an even more important tool for connection.

Sprout Social reviewed the data from 20,000 customers to ascertain how COVID-19 has changed the way people are engaging and posting on social media.

Overall, they found that the best times to post have shifted somewhat as more aspects of work and life move online-first. In some cases, they found that these times have shifted more in just the last few weeks of changed behavior than they did from 2019 to early 2020. This is what Sprout Social found.

Updates to Facebook times to post

While we previously found that Wednesday from 11 a.m. and 1–2 p.m. were the best times to post on Facebook, and Wednesday was a peak day overall, our updated review showed that activity was more consistently high throughout every weekday. Currently, the best times to post on Facebook are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10–11 a.m. In fact, every day at 11 a.m. was a slight peak compared to the rest of the day.

 

Weekends and weekdays after 5 p.m. still showed a significant drop off, as remote workers juggling a variety of home and family needs face, in many cases, even more demands on their attention after the typical workday ends.

Updates to Instagram times to post

Similar to Facebook, the number of peak times during the week expanded since our previous review for Instagram. Previously, Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday from 10 a.m.–11 a.m. were identified as the best times to post. Now, we are seeing that out of an overall very busy span of weekday and working hours time, Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 11 a.m. and Tuesday at 2 p.m. are the best times to post on Instagram

 

Updates to Twitter times to post

Twitter patterns of usage have remained slightly more consistent pre- and post-COVID response. This may be due to the ongoing use of the platform as a way to quickly check news and spread useful public information for different regions’ lockdown and quarantine measures.

Despite this, the top time to engage still shifted somewhat as we reviewed the data in April 2020. While it was previously Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m., the current best time to post  on Twitter is Friday 7–9 a.m., with 9 a.m. showing the peak of activity.

 

Updates to LinkedIn times to post

Since LinkedIn is a professionally-oriented network, it’s not surprising that behavior has remained largely similar. Like Twitter, the best time to post did shift a little: moving from top times at Wednesday from 8–10 a.m. and noon, Thursday at 9 a.m. and 1–2 p.m., and Friday at 9 a.m. to current best times for LinkedIn of Wednesday at 3 p.m, Thursday at 9–10 a.m. and Friday from 11 a.m.-noon..

Given the fluid situation around COVID-19, the only certainty is that audience behavior will continue to change dramatically over the next few weeks and months. The major updates we found after just a few months suggest that brands will continue to face challenges, highlighting the need to consistently review and reprioritize their strategy throughout 2020.

 

With changing patterns and consumer behaviour should also come changes to your social media strategy, when you are posting and the type of content you are sharing.

Source: Sprout Social