With the Coronavirus hitting the world over, this uncertain time has forced millions of people to swift their behavioral patterns. With half of the population still outdoors, new forms of digital have emerged, however, they are here to stay.
Coronavirus itself has seen a trending topic since the beginning of the outbreak, breaking through established social media topics and feeds.
While some people are searching within the SERP useful information and data focusing on its implications for our lives, others decided to keep static. Here is where social media listening plays a vital role.
What has been going on the social media channels amid the outbreak?
Social media listening is the process of collecting data from social media channels on a certain topic. Therefore, it enables you to “spy” your target public and see what they care about.
This is a good method to receive pertinent feedback and to give you some useful insights.
If we quickly scan the media, it is clear that social media listening can be a very helpful tool, which may influence a wide range of business operations and organizations, as well as marketing campaigns.
Taking a look at Twitter most popular trends, the most popular hashtags during the beginning of the outbreak were:
- Corona virus-related hashtags: #covid19, and #covid-19.
- Stay at home recommendations also were used by a large segment of Twitter users, with hashtags such as #stayathome, #stayhomesavelifes, #stayhomestaysafe and #lockdownnow.
- The clap for health workers was also highly visible during this time, e.g. #clapsforcarers.
However, the general public also relied on the Internet, with the purpose to get answers for their questions, such as:
- What topics are being discussed around COVID-19?
- What is going to happen with food supplies and panic buying?
- New ways of working: working remotely?
Just from March 10 to April 15, 23.6 million mentions of Coronavirus were catched on conversations, which generated 3.9 trillion impressions.
Quarantine and working from home
When the COVID-19 phenomena took place, the most registered keywords on the search engines were related to working from home and quarantine: home office, remote work, self-isolation, etc. at the same time, monitoring this mentions of keywords, it enabled us to look at the sentiment they provoked to the public.
This way we could analyze those things that they liked, and those that they did not like.
For example, what the audience liked the most from this time was the opportunity to spend more time with their love ones, while being able to cook homemade food or chill and relax with a book (or even meditating). Although, at the same time, there were some negative sides to the mandatory stay indoors restrictions:
- Some people miss their family or friends.
- A wide segment of the population experienced mental health issues.
- Overall, going outside on a simple date/night out.
- Traveling to a different destination.
Misinformation and Corona virus
On a different note, as half of the world population is constantly searching for new data and information, this is also the perfect opportunity for “fake news” to take on the scene.
In the middle of all this Corona virus fear, many online users are giving credibility to this fake news.
Due to this, many people are taking advantage of the worrying and desperation of these users, which are highly sensitive.
Therefore, social media channels are also playing this part and they are helping in this Coronavirus crisis. Moreover, Twitter has introduced a service alert that will redirect your search query to an official source of information.
This system is available in 50 countries, and each of them is linked to their pertinent national health security organization or the World Health Organization.
On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg masterpiece Facebook. The social media site offer on its app a wide range of options to get you updated regarding the pandemic:
- Offering on-time, updated information about infection rates.
- The number of deaths.
- Latest information and news coming from official and trustworthy sources.
- This way, fake news can be easily identifiable and tackled. Facebook is working with organizations such as UNICEF, the WHO, and the diverse international authorities to spread the right information about the coronavirus.
Social media as a tool to boost investigation
All the data that is on social media channels about symptoms, interactions, and other digital footprints regarding human behavior are being analyzed in real-time to understand and follow the transmission and trajectory of the COVID-19.
Social networking sites such as Facebook are sending anonymous data to scientists regarding how people are moving from one place to another and the density maps of the population associated with this, to see how the pandemic is evolving.
In combination with both social media and medical data of patients, it could be possible to provide useful information regarding individual risk.
To sum up now is the right time to make the most of all the available tools that we have, to help us in the fight against this novel COVID-19.
Last but not least, we must keep in mind that some conflicts may arise here in terms of privacy. On one hand, it would be fair for the population to ask them if they agree to share the whole data that is in their devices, but the thing is that not a large volume of people will agree with that.
In these extraordinary times that we are all living in, privacy and misinformation are the basic premises under which the system lies. It may be also worth bringing up this subject.
Would the world population agree on sharing their most private information with concerns to save the world from a deadly and unknown pandemic?
Or maybe the thing is that our data has never been private at all? What we know for sure now is that our behavioral patterns have changed in a way that we have never imagined before, resulting in both new social media trends and social interactions within our environment.