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How 2020 Flipped and Reversed Social Media


We’re now into the second half of 2020 and whilst that may seem utterly bizarre, a lot has changed since we all naively cheered for the new year ahead back in January.

Nobody could have predicted just what 2020 had to bring. However back in that cold winter month marketeers across the world put pen to paper and albeit attempted to predict just how marketing would pan out this year (although we refuse to believe that anybody had brands adapting to a worldwide pandemic in their predictions…).

Just like other marketeers, that’s exactly what we did so we wanted to take a look back and see whether our predictions survived or suffered during the pandemic.

Facebook Ads

What we said back then still stands; Facebook will forever continue to tweak their offering and tools for businesses. The platform adapted their advertising policies instantly to prevent people exploiting the pandemic, and misleading ads or medical related products were prohibited from being advertised.

Whilst many businesses halted their ad spend to cut back on costs, some industries actually saw increase in spend. It’s unsurprising that the news sector saw the biggest increase in ad spend with 52% from the weeks before the global impact to the weeks just after it all seemed to kick off. Following this was…

  • Hobbies and interests (31% increase)
  • Computing (14%)
  • Education (13%)

…which makes sense as all of the above are activities which can be consumed at home.

It wasn’t just Facebook that switched up their ad platform, but Google too. In order to help small and medium-sized businesses stay in touch with customers during the challenging time, Google gave their customers €340 million in ad credits to use until the end of 2020. This was their way of showing their support and solidarity with small and medium-sized businesses, who represent 90 per cent of all businesses and more than half of employment worldwide.


Before coronavirus, it was TikTok that was taking over the world and with more time on our hands than ever, and the need for more positive content too, it seems the app has continued to succeed throughout the past few months. In Q1, TikTok saw 315 million installs; the largest number of downloads for any social media app in a single quarter ever. With a strong engagement rate of 14.7% for TikTok users in the UK, it comes as no surprise that many brands (like Vodafone and Gymshark to name a few) turned to leverage the platform during this time and make use of their audience’s interests.

Social Media Used Positively

Back in January we also predicted that social media would become less harmful and whilst the pandemic has undoubtably changed the world, content has surprisingly taken a positive turn. We’ve seen huge rises in recommend-a-friend campaigns and online discounts for key workers, as well as #stayhome not only trending but also being emphasised by influencers across the world. It’s allowed socially distanced family members and friends to keep in contact and businesses like pubs, restaurants and shops that were forced to close have been able to keep their loyal customers connected.

Post Covid…

We have no idea what the future holds and this year has certainly proved that, however there are some trends that have occurred throughout the pandemic that we can only expect to see continue…

Hello E-Commmerce, Goodbye Highstreet

Consumers have always loved online shopping, but since the pandemic left us no choice but to use it for everything, it seems there is no going back now. With shops now reopen but with strict social distancing and mandatory masks, the majority of the population are now using the internet to buy everything from their weekly groceries to gifts. In fact, many businesses like butchers and bakers who have previously avoided the internet at all costs, had no choice but to follow suit and join the e-commerce craze in order to keep their business alive… and it seems to be paying off!

Digital Dominance

With many still working from home for the foreseeable and some businesses even turning remote, we’re sure that social media platforms and online apps like Slack, Teams and Zoom will continue to soar as we continue to adapt to communicating digitally.

Usually at this point in the year we would be getting ready for the approaching awards season yet this year it’s going to be a little different as instead of partying the night away at a swanky venue, awards have turned digital and are actually taking place virtually on apps like the aboce! It’s bye bye to the glad rags and hello to the slippers!

Return of the QR Code

Any marketer will have studied the impact of QR codes at some point in their career and just like how the rest of the year was unpredictable, no marketer could have predicted they’d make such a strong comeback. With the need for sanitising now prominent, many restaurants have sacked off their menu’s and turned to QR codes for their customers to order from. Is it 2020 or 2010?

Like we say, social media is unpredictable and 2020 has certainly proved that, however whilst we can’t necessarily predict what’s going to happen on Facebook tomorrow, we can help you plan your online strategy to ensure your business is heading in the right direction, and adapting to the ever-changing climate. If you need a little help then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Digital Marketing team today.