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How COVID-19 is Affecting Social Media Interaction Across 13 Industries

Crowd Analyzer Co-Founder Ahmed Saad delves deep into data from across the region, discussing how social media has been impacted across major industries in Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

As the Coronavirus stays firmly at the forefront of everyone’ minds at the moment, there is a new reality settling in that will affect consumer behaviour. In the midst of the global crisis, it seems people have been turning to social media for a sense of community. They are online more often, looking for engaging content to keep them busy as they try to tackle the emotional burden of self-isolation. So brands have the opportunity to keep their audience grounded using social media.

In general, brands all around the world are fighting to keep their business alive and countless marketers are strategising to maintain a positive appearance. Not all industries are moving in the same direction during the pandemic. At this point, we know that the Coronavirus effect will last for a while, and its impact on all industries is inevitable. Despite the rapid changes during the crisis, some industries are currently rebounding from the initial dip they took. 

It is clear that this crisis is turning the world upside down, but more habits than we think will continue; people will always enjoy food, entertainment, and leisure time. Brands will continue to deliver, but they ought to shift their strategy to fit the current situation.

Crowd Analyzer looked at over 75 million social media activities of 13 key industries from January to April 2020 in Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia to observe how industries have performed after the initial dip of confusion and uncertainty all business fell into when the pandemic started.

There Are Those Who Are On The Rise

Now, consumers are relying on digital more than they used to. People have the need to follow trusted sources for information about Coronavirus Prior to this, health ministries barely existed on social media. However, now social media is a powerful vehicle to  build a connection with the public; user activity started at 1% in January and reached 79% in April. 

Health ministries do not only represent the only industry on the rise: telecom and banking. The sudden increase in people being indoors led to consumers relying more on digital services of banks, through the internet and their phones. 

The telecom industry is receiving more attention and social media interactions during the pandemic than it did prior to the crisis, yet it’s worth mentioning that their Ramadan campaigns were a key factor that contributed to this spike in social media activities in April. 

Then There Were Those Who Were Able To Make a Comeback

The pandemic has lasted long enough to become a new normal for businesses. They can no longer sit back and let the storm pass. Marketers have to gear up, and get involved. Most industries hit an unexpected bump, but were able to bounce back. The content managed to shift from purchasing-focused to brand awareness. It is necessary for marketers to involve an empathetic message, one that reminds the public how they are there to make their life easier given the situation. The month of March was when Coronavirus first affected the region, and brands were not familiar with how to readapt their strategy yet. By the month of April, brands were well equipped to deal with the situation. So industries such as automotive, FMCG, delivery apps, and real estate were able to recover and gain social media momentum with higher interactions on brands’ social accounts.

Then There Are Those At A Decline, But Still Can Recover

One of the industries that took a very hard hit is football. The sport itself and leagues around the world have come to a halt and this is reflected in their social media accounts. With no championships taking place, the audience are not keen on getting any updates. 

FinTech and e-commerce are slowly regaining activity on social media, but both have witnessed quite a drop in February.  

Why Does Social Media Listening Matter?

In our uncertain world, data and insights matter. Things are constantly changing, so this is definitely not the fate of the 13 industries. During this time, it is important for brands to keep a finger on the pulse of social media conversations. Using social media listening will help you understand what are customers looking for; hence, identify how your brand can contribute in a valuable way.

Find out more about Crowd Analyzer here.

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