There’s no denying the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our lives, our behaviors and our routines. Taking immediate steps to ensure you’re effectively leveraging social media to engage large audiences with timely updates and providing opportunities for real-time engagement and connection is critical.
Social media is dynamic and continually evolving. In this “new normal” surrounding COVID-19, social has quickly become a leading space where current and potential residents, families, and team members spend a generous amount of time. It provides an easy, cost-effective way to update large audiences at one time in one place. Users are using these platforms to remain up to date on how communities are handling the situation and to check in on loved ones. Having updates in one central location helps mitigate confusion or spread of misinformation.
Following a few upticks in early and late February, news really started to impact communities around mid-March. From there, interactions and updates related to COVID-19 skyrocketed in the following weeks. Posts mentioning the coronavirus have been far more common on Facebook than on any other social platform.
We’ve also seen increases in community audience size, roughly 4% across the portfolio, in March alone. This suggests our key audiences are turning to community Facebook pages more often when looking for news and updates. Our team is encouraging communities to continue to use appropriate platforms to provide updates. Not only are more people turning to these pages, but the engagement is through the roof … proving that these individuals are very captivated by the messaging we’re all delivering at this time.
As a response to the increases in audience size, we’ve provided communities with an influx of content to continue to keep this group updated. During the month of March, we published over 1,500 posts for our full-management social media clients. This is a 40% increase month over month!
Best part? The content is being well received. We’re seeing engagement metrics following a similar curve as our production. For the month of March, engagements (including shares, comments, reactions and link clicks) have totaled over 193,000 – an 81% jump from the prior month. Most engagements peaked around mid-March, which makes sense, as the media coverage for COVID-19 and the reality of situation became mainstream.
With uncertainty about the economic environment and the increase in users’ engagement with digital content, we’re seeing the importance of placing value on organic content. Communities should be ensuring the long-term health of their brand by embracing digital transformation. If this time is showing us anything, it’s that digital channels are where customer engagement is happening.
Even more so, digital channels are where communities can be the stewards of their own stories, instead of relying on external sources to “get it right.” Own your narrative by sharing moments of light in a rather dark time for both the industry and the world.