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How Will Social Media Usage Change Post-Pandemic?

by | Nov 3, 2020

With COVID-19 turning our world upside down, it’s no surprise that US consumers have been spending more time online than ever before. While social media platforms got to enjoy an unexpected spike in users, eMarketer research cautions that this trend may normalize sooner than we think. Although, don’t forget that social media usage normalizing in the near future does not mean that social media advertising is going anywhere any time soon!

 

social media strategy, digital marketing strategy, small business marketing, social media for small businesses

 

51% of US adults have been using social media at higher rates, but what’s going to happen as they return to everyday routines or settle into new ones? EMarketer predicts that this spike in US social media usage will likely plateau towards the end of 2020 to then see a more impactful drop starting 2021.

 

social media usage post-pandemic 2021

 

On the other hand, further eMarketer research shows that ecommerce and overall social ad spending continues to rise, showing an optimistic rise by 11.4% this year. The pandemic has created a significant spike in social media usage throughout 2020 and although this spike may normalize in the near future, social network advertising has been rising and is expected to keep rising to reach almost $49 billion.

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Number of Monthly Active Facebook Users Worldwide as of 3rd Quarter 2020 (in millions)

 

US Internet users ranging from ages 16 to 64 were surveyed in an April 2020 GlobalWebIndex poll where they were asked various questions revolving around activities they plan to continue as the pandemic eases.

Some of those results included:

    • 9% of users expect to continue spending more time on social media
    • 5% of users expect to spend more time on messaging services


Similar findings were reflected on a global scale, with only 17% of respondents worldwide expecting their social media habits to remain the same as in early 2020. Internet users are prioritizing other pastime activities such as spending time as a family, cooking, streaming TV and movies, etc., according to eMarketer research.

 

In a research study, conducted by Morning Consult, US adults were asked what pastime activities and behaviors they expected to do more often, less often, or continue at the same rate post-pandemic.

Some of the results revolving around social media usage included:

    • 51% expect their social media usage post-pandemic to reflect their pre-pandemic online habits.
    • 21% expect their social media usage post-pandemic to be even less than pre-pandemic.


Many major platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat have similar
predictions of uncertainty when discussing recent social media usage trends.

 

Of course, a post-pandemic world is unknown so it is important to keep in mind that this information is based on a research firm’s predictions. Only time will tell what the future of social media usage holds. Until then, all we know is that social media advertising only continues to grow and businesses need to know it’s not going anywhere any time soon.