Scrolling through social media is a guilty pleasure that all of us enjoy but lately, this activity has provided more than entertainment. Although businesses were already using these platforms to connect with people, the pandemic has amplified their usage and highlighted their benefits.
During the lockdown, people were deprived of various recreational activities as they were forced to stay indoors. Hence, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok became a constant companion for them.
Such was the surge in the use of social media that Insider Intelligence estimated that there were an additional 150 million more social media users in 2020. This means that 81% of all internet users have one or multiple operational social media accounts.
The influence of social media on the lives of people during the pandemic was immense and it continues to pull in consumers around the world. Read on to find out more about its impact.
1. Excellent source of entertainment
Social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and even YouTube became a great source of entertainment for people. With an ample amount of time on their hands, creators looked for innovative ways to reach out to people. Short videos on Instagram reels and TikTok provided an easy and fun way to create and showcase content.
They were accessible and an easy way to pass time. Additionally, the range of content on platforms such as YouTube was phenomenal as it included everything from fun banter to interesting art and even useful knowledge sessions. Some interesting and popular YouTube channels binge-watched during the pandemic include What I've Learned, Wilderness TV and many more.
2. Staying connected
Amid lockdown and social distancing, everyone craved interaction with the outside world. While this was physically impossible, connecting on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook became the norm. Many used these platforms to talk about their quarantine life and their daily struggles. Even celebrities like John Krasinski released a series of positive clips and affirmations on YouTube to help people stay upbeat.
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3. Staying informed
During the pandemic, social media became an accessible place for everyone to find information on nearly everything. Many specialists in the field of skincare and more started using TikTok and Instagram reels to connect with customers and gave out information on various beauty products/skincare regimes.
Some of these names include Dustin Portela and Dr Joyce Park. This is not just limited to dermatologists; the platforms were used by skill schools, job advisors and even nutritionists who took to social media to share their knowledge.
4. Skills and hacks
Looking for an easy way to separate the egg from its yolk or curl your hair without a dryer? Check out the hacks shared on TikTok and Reels. During quarantine, many showcased their creative side by sharing tricks to manage regular tasks and some of them were very effective. Not only were these tricks easy to perform and entertaining but they were also helpful for many.
During social distancing viral trends gave people a sense of inclusivity by allowing everyone to participate. From DIY projects that included cooking dishes to show off a new look, everyone fully immersed themselves in this experience. Along with this emerged many kinds of dance moves, transitional videos and fashion trends that went viral in a short space of time.
6. Small businesses
Social media turned out to be a great place to showcase arts and creativity skills and some made full use of the platform to promote their small businesses. From designing jewellery to clothes or even home décor and paintings, everyone who is artistically gifted found Instagram and TikTok a perfect place to talk about their products and connect with customers.
The best part was that this form of marketing was affordable and effective. Even before the pandemic, many artists like French-born Philippe Halaburda, Venezuela-born Elizabeth Chapman and more made prominent use of social media to sell their art.