COVID-19 Sparks a Social Media Evolution

May. 19, 2020

Social Distancing = A Social EXPLOSION Online

Legato-Blog-Social

There is no denying that COVID-19 has changed every aspect of our lives and how we do business, and this is especially true in healthcare.

We find ourselves living in a digital world, which has, in part, helped us navigate in our new normal. The sudden shift to being virtual in our day-to-day lives will have a lasting impact on how consumers do business and their expectations as customers.

In the early days of COVID-19, the heavy internet traffic presented some major challenges for digital marketers. For starters, everyone was online, searching for information on this pandemic. That meant, we needed to take action quickly to provide our clients with the correct information to share online, ensuring people weren’t being misinformed.

Once we were able to help properly educate the masses during those early days, then we immediately saw a shift in how they navigated in their new digital world. That shift has presented us with our next major challenge, which is how it has completely changed the digital marketing landscape as we know it. Think it’s not true, well, here is some interesting information on how things have changed:

  • The Need for Information Isn’t Stopping - Search and display trends show people are continually looking for information on COVID-19. Because of that, they’re not looking for what they used to search for. For example, even during peak tax season, the COVID-19 search term dominated over “tax preparation.” Common search terms seem to be falling by the wayside because this constant need COVID-19 information is always there.

  • Internet Traffic is Up and Download Time is Down – Since the need for information never stops, there’s been an obvious increase in people using the Internet and subsequently, the speed as to which we can all browse has decreased. Take the state of New York and New Jersey in the United States as an example, traffic has increased 6% and DL Speed Change is down 5.5%. Think that’s bad, it’s worse in United Kingdom where there was a 78.6% increase in traffic and 30.3% decrease in DL speed.

  • Social Media Networks Are Surging – According to a recent article in the New York Times, average daily traffic on Facebook jumped almost by 40 million users from January (pre-COVID-19) to the end of March. Similar trends were also seen on YouTube and other social media channels.

But, out of every challenge, minor or major, there is always opportunity. We understand people are online more than ever. We know they are longing for a sense of community and connectedness while apart, and we have the data and tools to reach them, reassure them, inform them, entertain them and connect them. This is where digital marketing arm of social media can be your Super Hero!

Social Media Comes Full Circle

In its infancy, social media was deemed a fad, and while early adopters knew it was a powerful tool to connect us in an online world, it took time for it to gain traction. Suddenly we were all getting onboard, connecting with old friends on Facebook, losing ourselves in inspiration on Pinterest, following influencers on Twitter or positioning ourselves for a new career on LinkedIn.

Love it or hate it, social media is deeply engrained in our lives – and this has never been truer than now, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

People are connecting on social media online more than ever, just like before when it was first introduced. People are again reaching out to connect with one another. Not only on Facebook, but on other social networks too like Instagram (IG stories have increased 15% since the start of the pandemic), Twitter (daily users increase to 166 million a day, up from 152 million at the end of 2019), and LinkedIn (user sessions up 26% for the quarter).

Regaining Trust through Social Media

With the resurgence of social media comes the resurgence of trust with those who use it. Not only with one another, but with the companies, organizations, and business that they follow and interact with. Why is this such a big deal? The answer is because this is how social media can be the hero and “save the day” with your digital marketing.

Of particular interest in healthcare, Facebook and Instagram are experiencing usage trends similar to when social media became popular years ago. Plus, there are new ways people are interacting too. Now, we’re seeing more challenges, interactive content, livestreams and news, storytelling, videos, and fundraising. This is a great opportunity for healthcare facilities to connect with their online communities by providing engaging content that is relevant to our new normal and also position themselves as a respected and trusted news source.

“Legato is experiencing this same trend with our own clients as we analyze their social media metrics,” explained Erin Minsart, Vice President of Strategic Services. “Across the board, engagement is up and we’re seeing positive results from providing a thoughtful balance in content for our clients during this time.”

Thoughtful Balance of Content Explained

In order to effectively reach an audience on social media, content needs to be balanced. There can’t be too much of one thing and not enough of another. If that happens, then you’ll lose your audience in a flash. So, make sure you maintain a mix of the following: 

  • Informational – Posts that have facts, figures, and helpful information are always a good way to promote your organization’s brand or services. To keep people interested, infographics are always a smart option like the below:

Legato-Digital-Information-Graphic

  • Engagement – You want to get your audience involved and responding to what you post. A good way to do this is through polls, questions, and any other post that will get them wanting to participate in what you’re sharing. Like the below:

Legato-Digital-Poll-Idea

  • Entertainment – Everyone enjoys having some fun now and again. For that reason, throw in some posts here and there on your social media pages that shows your business or organization’s “human side.” Such as a recent social media post our team did: 

LHM_Coworker


How Legato Digital Can Help

As healthcare organizations are beginning to welcome back their patients, social media is becoming even more important to help demonstrate trust, in addition to providing important information on what services are available and what patients need to know before their appointments. This was recently covered in our blog post: "What's your next move? When and how to build revenue post COVID." 

Need some help with your social media plan or digital marketing? If so, Legato Digital can help. We have years of experience when it comes to putting together the right digital marketing mix and would be more than happy to get your company or organization on track. Get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

Legato-Digital-Get-Started