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A Social Media in Need is a Friend Indeed

The outbreak of the COVID-19 has imposed mandatory social distancing on hundreds of millions of people worldwide who are now opting (or not) to work from home. Being detached from our normal in-the-public lives and daily routines has reminded us of the importance of social media…once again. If there’s anyone out there who is not aware of that…at all.

In every corner of the world, people are using social media to stay connected, stay informed and stay sane. It is exactly at the time of crisis that we become aware of the importance of being intertwined, which makes the social media role more relevant than ever. The Coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented event which has made the entire world question the priorities and which has made us realize the importance of doing things together.

To say that the Coronavirus has changed our everyday routine is a serious understatement as governments around the world have closed schools, enacted travel restrictions and banned restaurants, bars, parks, cinemas and other public gathering places to control the spread of the Coronavirus. With a crisis like this, immediacy is a must, which is why governments, NGOs and medical organizations are leveraging the influence of social media like Facebook, Instagram or YouTube to livestream information and instructions.

Why the social media? Because it allows you to get the news ASAP.  Research indicates that 68% of American adults get their news from social media, with the statistics being similar in other countries. There is no news network, major or minor that does not use social media networks to distribute their content. Moreover, if someone you follow go live, you will receive a notification to watch.

Another core value of social media is that it centers around your community – family, friends, colleagues or acquaintances, especially now that we’re quarantined and pushed into this social distancing relieving the stress and the anxiety of the situation. And we’ve seen some awesome examples of this in the last month or two – people in Italy singing together, Facebook groups sharing stories, ideas, shows, and so on, or friends letting each other know they’re OK.

In addition to social media, there are video calls helping people stay connected. People across the globe are using Facebook Messenger, Viber, FaceTime or Skype to see their friends and family and let them know they are here. With the necessity of quarantine, these networks have become an inextricable part of our reality. Due to the incredible reach and omnipresence of social media, we can all do something to ‘flatten the curve,’ without having to do it alone.

Given that the majority of people are in a quarantine, either voluntary (or not), they’re isolated from the rest of the world, except the people they live with. Sports events are banned, cancelled and postponed, sports institutions temporarily shut down, cinemas and theaters have cancelled their shows, restaurants and bars are closed or doing take-away only. You cannot visit ZOOs, entertainment parks or picnic sites.

Considering that a substantial part of our entertainment in the future will have some digital aspect to it, which means that social media will evolve to host the future of entertainment. Major movie studios have already started releasing new movies through different channels, like Netflix (list of 10 apps you can use to watch videos online) providing you  with the possibility to use your basic video calling apps to watch the movies “in the same room.”

The increased online activity represents an opportunity for your company or brand to boost your online conversation and address your customers more frequently and more systematically than before. There are a variety of tools that can help you manage and direct your online conversation more effectively by leveraging the unified voices of your strongest, most vocal supporters to extend your reach, provide more engagement and stimulate sharing and awareness. Additionally, you can match your followers and customers to content that they’re likely to engage with, thus increasing your ROI on the content you’re creating.

We may be living in times of uncertainty and value questioning, but we need to act as one to support our communities, at least through effective communication. This is how your voice is being heard!