March 16, 2021


It has been just over a year since the U.S. entered Covid-19 lockdown and life changed as we once knew it. We all remember that moment when we realized that things were going to be different. My moment was when I walked into the grocery store with my partner and saw people running to grab as much food as they could, from nearly empty shelves. Once I gathered myself after that experience, I came to the realization that this pandemic was going to change the way we work, interact, and consume on every level. 

As people started spending more time at home, U.S. consumers started using social media more, providing an unexpected boom in engagement across multiple new and existing platforms. However, right before the pandemic hit, we were noticing a ‘more social, less media’ behavioral shift. Do you remember when people were rallying for others to stop using social media for a day? Also, when you listened to the time limits alerts on your phone to control your daily social media consumption? All of this went out the window when COVID struck as it was the main portal we had to the news, our family, our friends and seemingly the outside world. 

As we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we wanted to provide you with the top social media stats that derived from the pandemic and also shed light on what we believe is yet to come: 

So, what are some of the highlights from 2020?

  1. TikTok exploded with 90% of all users accessing the app on a daily basis in 2020 (wow)
  2. Recent Instagram stats tell us that organic engagement on Instagram fell an average of 1.22% in 2020. Long story short, the pandemic caused an uptick in ad placements thus causing the app to diminish exposure of organic content. Its a pay-to-play world on Instagram. RivalIQ
  3. Interest in binge-watching content grew significantly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic with 70% of marketers looking to up their investment in video. On another note, in 2020 over 1 million Instagram posts each day mentioned the word “meme”, which was a clear winner in the content category throughout lockdown. 

1. What trends can we anticipate for 2021?The race to ROI: Social bridges the gap to a new customer experience

As businesses struggle to recoup lost sales in the wake of the pandemic, marketers turn to social to meet two equally urgent imperatives:

  • Deliver short-term ROI with targeted performance marketing tactics 
  • Build innovative digital experiences that win long-term loyalty by bringing discovery, connection, and fun back to the customer experienc

2. Silence is golden: Brands find their place in the conversation

A dramatic uptick in social media use presented a huge number of new opportunities for brands this year—but many missed the mark by jumping in too soon. Smart brands sat back and listened, then won with creative, original ways of fitting into the social conversation to break through the wall of indifference.

3. Ok Boomers: A generation ignored by digital marketers BOOMS on social

Stereotypes, ageism, and a years long habit of chasing newness over effectiveness have left marketers underestimating -- and under-representing—an increasingly digitally savvy and lucrative demographic: baby boomers. By using smart segmentation and thoughtful representation, marketers that include baby boomers in their digital strategies can leapfrog those still stuck in stereotypes. 

In closing, none of us know exactly what 2021 holds in store for us but one thing is for sure. The last 12 months have been a bootcamp for brands on social media to learn and join the conversation. If you have any questions about this article, paid media and content marketing or our services, shoot us an email at Thank you. 

Author: Norel Mancuso, President & CEO

Source: Hootsuite