COVID-19’s impact on social media marketing

The latest and most compelling social media statistics that marketers need to know.

Social media marketers have needed to act fast to adapt to the impact of COVID-19.


Optimising their (often reduced) budgets and pivoting to new content strategies to remain connected to their locked down customers.

After a year of uncertainty, it can be reassuring to take a look at the facts. So, we’ve gathered the most compelling statistics from a range of studies and surveys that have landed in our inbox over the past couple of months. Here are their key findings – and the opportunities they pose to marketers.


Time on social media has increased


As lockdown restrictions left many of us seeking connection, we turned to our smartphones and social media. This increase clustered in certain areas, with a surge in Instagram Live content and TikTok downloads. According to this data, our usage is likely to continue to a similar degree, even post lockdown.


The opportunity for marketers: People are spending time on social media to be entertained and feel a sense of connection. Recognising this and tapping into those motivations with your social content will add value to your customer’s online experience and make them want to spend more time with it.

Ad engagement has increased


We’ve spent more time online speaking to friends, but we’ve also spent more time with influencer content and advertising. While some brands cancelled marketing campaigns at the start of lockdown, it gave those remaining fewer competitors. With fewer ads they were able to gain strong engagement levels.

  • Stat: Mobile ad engagement has increased 15% during pandemic. Source: Mobile Marketer.
  • Stat: Interactions with sponsored posts reached 57 million in July compared to March 2020, a rise of 5x.  Source:  Research by Shareablee.


The opportunity for marketers: Make the most of this boosted engagement by featuring a clear call to action on your sponsored posts and social ads. Also, leverage tools like Instagram’s shoppable tags to convert engagers.

Online shopping is booming


As bricks and mortar stores were forced to shut and consumers limited their trips out of the house, shoppers moved their purchasing online.

  • Stat: August retail sales were up 3.9% year-on-year, boosted by 42.4% rise in online non-food sales. Source: Econsultancy.
  • Stat: E-commerce orders were up 108% year-on-year in February. Source: Quantum Metric.
  • Stat: Australian ecommerce grew more than 80 per cent year on year (YOY) in the 8 weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation. Source: Australia Post 2020 eCommerce Industry Report
  • Stat: In Indonesia in May, 55% of consumers said they were shopping online more. Source: Statista


The opportunity for marketers: With more customers adopting online shopping, friction is removed from their buying journey. An inspired scroller can see something they like in a sponsored post and be redirected to their e-commerce site in seconds. This gives social marketers an opportunity to drive higher conversions. Instagram’s shoppable features take this a step further and allow social users to make purchases without even leaving the app.

Influencers form deeper connections


Social users have been spending more time with influencer content and finding value. While brands worked hard to empathise with their customers’ pandemic realities, influencers were actually living it. In sharing their daily lives, their followers identified with their shared experience.


The opportunity for marketers: Aligning with influencers is a great way for a brand to humanise itself. Authentic influencer content, particularly during the pandemic, resonated with audiences and through genuine partnerships, brands can recreate this connection.

Download the free Vamp guide and learn how your brand can succeed on the original influencer marketing platform, Instagram.

Download this free Vamp guide and learn how to succeed on the world’s most viral platform.