Young people leaning against a wall, wearing masks and on their phones

5 New Social Media Trends Emerging From the Pandemic


Without a doubt, more and more packages are arriving on consumers’ doorsteps these days. Not only have the lockdowns and COVID-mitigation efforts required most businesses to pivot, consumers are also having to find new ways to socialize, shop and work. These changes have fueled new digital trends such as audio-based social media (like Clubhouse) and fresh new approaches for businesses to connect with their audiences (livestream shopping, for example).

If you are not taking these shifts into account in your marketing efforts, you could be limiting their performance. Our social media marketing team here at The Brandon Agency has put together a list of these trends, along with notes on how you can use them to achieve your goals.

1. Boomers Go Digital

According to Tech.co , 20% of all Americans are Baby Boomers, and 46% of the adult population is 50+. In the past month, 70% of boomers have purchased something online. And over the last 4 years, there has been a 66% increase in boomers discovering new products via social media.

Why is this all important? Baby Boomers are a huge audience. In fact, according to U.S. News and World Report, consumers who are in their golden years control an astounding 70% of all disposable income in the United States, and HuffPost News reports that people in the 50+ market spend $3.2 trillion annually. Not only do Boomers have the most money, but they also have the most disposable income to spend. Many are already retired and ready to spend their hard-earned retirement funds doing what they love and enjoy.

Millennials may be sharing stuff, but Boomers are actually buying. According to a summary of studies presented by SmartInsights.com, Boomers spend an average of 27 hours a week online, and 92% of the people in this demographic shop for products and services online. This generation has adapted to ever-changing technology and embraced the changes with open arms. This is good news for today’s digital-minded businesses, and as a marketer, that should really make you turn your head and reconsider your business strategy if you’re leaving Boomers out of your campaigns.

2. TikTok Continues to Rise

1 billion monthly active TikTok users — yes, that’s billion with a “b.” Even more impressive is that number was about 600 million in late 2018, so the growth of the platform has been phenomenal. The TikTok app has been downloaded an astounding 2.6 billion times worldwide.

TikTok also recently revealed that it had 100 million active users in the U.S. alone. 60% are female, 40% are male. 60% are between the ages of 16 and 24. 26% are between the ages of 25 and 44. 80% are between the ages of 16 and 34. This data comes straight from TikTok. On average, Tik Tok users spend 52 minutes per day on the platform.

According to Sensor Tower, TikTok was the second most downloaded app in the U.S. in November, with 4 million downloads (trailing only Disney+).

Engagement on TikTok is also something to note. Just take this example: Jennifer Lopez recently posted the same video on Twitter and TikTok. At the time, she had 45 million followers on Twitter and 5 million followers on TikTok. The video on Twitter got 2 million views (off 45 million followers). The video on TikTok got 71 million views (off 5 million followers).

Recently, TikTok started presenting nightly programming in an effort to train Gen Z to tune in at specific times, just like in the appointment TV viewing days of the past. So, the point is simple here … if you are not using TikTok now, shouldn’t you consider it?

3. Social Commerce Is for Real

According to Tech.co, 55% of people have purchased products through social media, and 87% of people say that social media has helped them make a purchasing decision. Social channels such as Facebook and Instagram are adding in seamless shopping experiences via store platforms.

Social channels are also becoming much more than just places to connect with friends — they are becoming discovery engines for brands. according to Aaron Kessler, an analyst at Raymond James, “Facebook Shops and Instagram Checkout could be a multi-billion revenue opportunity. (…) Facebook can address ~50% of global eCommerce with penetration ranges of 0.5% – 5%.” Emarketer forecasts that U.S. retail social commerce sales will rise by 34.8% to $36.09 billion this year, representing 4.3% of all retail ecommerce sales.

The numbers are too important to ignore. Marketers should provide consumers with frictionless shopping experiences throughout their social media journey both through discovery and purchase.

4. It’s Still All About Content

According to a recent Tech.co research study, 68% of consumers don’t think companies share interesting content! What an incredible opportunity for brands. At The Brandon Agency, our philosophy has always been that great content should be one or more of the following:

  • Entertaining
  • Informative
  • Interesting
  • Inspiring
  • Useful

Dull, lifeless content makes your brand dull and lifeless. Consumers expect to connect with the brands they follow. Now is the time to evaluate your content strategy and make sure that what you are delivering is hitting on all cylinders.

5. Video, Video, Video

Want to know why video works so well on social media? It starts with the human brain. Video is processed in our brains 60,000 times faster than text. Video can immediately ignite emotion and create personal connections. To understand video’s popularity today, consider this: In the last 30 days, there has been more video content uploaded to social media than the major U.S. television networks have created in 30 years. Drink that in. Media exposure is no longer limited to television or newscasts. It’s in our pockets, on our desks, at work, at home — it’s through videos on Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Facebook.

The same way that email is still king for ecommerce, video is king of social media content. If your video is flat or nonexistent, your brand will likely soon be as well.

At The Brandon Agency, we develop and execute turnkey organic and paid social media programs for our clients, with services ranging from strategy and content creation to post/monitor/respond and reporting. Last year, our organic social media efforts generated over $300 million in online revenue. If you need help with your social media marketing efforts, please contact us today.