Have you noticed a slight change in behavior during the lockdown?
The world is spending more time reading news content online- in fact, the number of minutes spent on news sites has increased drastically. On top of spending more time reading news on the internet, you probably also spend more time on social media. Even though we’re spending more time than usual on these outlets, is this classified as a new behavior? Or have you been noticing the rise of zoom hangouts or participating in more virtual group chats?
It’s important to note that various shifts, and to consider how these shifts can impact an individual’s behavior in the long term. The majority of businesses have shifted to a remote workplace and are forced to alter the way business leaders approach their operations. Even when the pandemic blows over, the increased engagement in online groups could make them even more significant, connective elements, and valued tools for support and assistance.
People are looking for support and reassurance amid the pandemic and the ongoing uncertainty around its impacts, and they’re turning to online groups for this purpose. When you also consider the loss of social interaction, through, say, your local church group, your sports teams, even just running into friends down at the local cafe. That loss of community connection leaves a significant gap, at a time when people need to feel connected the most – and as such, it’s no surprise to see online communities filling this void, and becoming more active essential virtual meeting spaces.
The interesting consideration stemming from this will be how such interaction extends, especially when all of this is over. You would expect that the longer the crisis goes on, the more reliant people will become on such groups, and as that happens, that could lead to significant interactive shifts, moving more and more of our community engagement into digital realms, and further altering how people communicate, maybe forever.
Of course, Facebook, in particular, has been pushing group usage for some time. Over a billion Facebook users are active members of groups already, and Facebook has been looking to build on this with new tools and features, and even a Super Bowl ad campaign aimed at highlighting the community benefits of its various niche groups.
Facebook sees groups as a key element in its growth moving forward, and COVID-19 will only boost this. That could make groups an even more relevant consideration for users and businesses in the future, as people become more accustomed to, and more reliant on, online communities for an increasing range of their social needs.
A big impact that came from COVID-19 was the cancellation of sports, gatherings, festivals and many more. A key shift amid the lockdown and the suspension of events and gatherings is video interaction, and in particular, the rise of traditional social, external events being streamed online.
Part of this is now due to necessity – DJs, for example, who want to get feedback on their sets now have to stream, as all of their regular venues are currently closed. But as noted by DJ Mag, even before the current lockdowns were put into effect, more electronic musicians had been looking for platforms like Twitch to expand their presence. DJs are utilizing the power of live streaming to make sure their music is being heard, and since everyone is on lockdown now is better than ever to stream your music.
Again, such shifts will be exacerbated by the current situation, which could lead to further behavioral shifts beyond this period, which could define the next generation of digital content consumption. The pandemic can alter the way we use technology to communicate with each other.
At the least, these trends are taking hold right now, and with many businesses still looking for ways to stay connected with their communities, and maximize their revenue potential, despite the restrictive conditions, this is important to note. The human impacts of the crisis remain paramount, but people still need to keep their businesses running as best they can – and we need to support them where possible to avoid more companies going under, and worse economic impacts.
Given this, it’s worth noting the evolution of online engagement trends like this, and considering how they can be utilized in your promotional efforts – or even just to get a better handle on how your communities are feeling, and what they’re looking for, to tailor your offerings according to need.
The world that comes after this pandemic will most likely be different than the one from the start of it. With new behaviors arriving from the pandemic, it’s pretty hard to dismiss the fact that some of these new behaviors will stick around.