Report: Social media audience trends during the pandemic

Get the social media audience trends report here

Trust Insights has teamed up with Talkwalker to share this new in-depth research about where audiences are flocking to while stuck at home, why they’re choosing these social networks, and how you as a marketer can create content that is of value for these niche communities.


Using the Talkwalker Quick Search platform, Trust Insights generated a list of social networks related to the largest ones (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) based on conversations from February 28th to April 29th.

a list of the social media networks studied for the report on which networks have seen the largest audience shifts since the pandemic began

From the report: Figure 1. Talkwalker Quick Search topic scan, associated brands.

Trust Insights then assembled a list of common terms for someone signing up for a social network, searching for the network in general, and someone quitting a social network. This provided a list of known terms for account creation, usage, and account quits. Software built a list of every possible variation of these and other common terms in relation to the social networks measured, over 1000 in total. 

This list was then scanned in Ahrefs and Google software to generate search volumes for each term over the previous 181 days.  All the data in this report is based on these results. The totals represent search volume, not actual account creations or deletions. This report contains no data based on publicly-available SEC filings. 

Where audiences are spending their time

Social media, and the networks that support it, are reflective of our own personal networks, with various strengths and niches thrown in to support content creation. Instagram is a great place for photos, not such a great place to discuss video game strategy. Discord, on the other hand, is a great place to gather with video game fans and discuss exactly those topics. 

Powered by data from the Talkwalker Analytics platform, the report finds that audiences are flocking to three types of content-based social media networks. The first is YouTube, the catch-all search and social video platform. The second is video-game networks. These include community-building networks like Discord, streaming platforms like Twitch and Mixer, and the video games themselves. Fortnite and Animal Crossing are both seeing huge increases in actual daily sign up searches. The final content area of social networks that is seeing large increases is home-based communities. This includes general video conferencing networks like Zoom or Skype, as well as more specific communities like Neighborhood, DailyBurn, or Curbly that are focused on one subject.

a few example social media networks that are very niche and seeing massive increases in audience attention in the previous 2 months

From the report: Figure 17. Three home-based niche communities - Curbly, DailyBurn, Instructables.

When you consider social media audiences’ living conditions today, that these three content areas would be seeing huge increases in daily sign-ups makes sense. Of course, people are using video conferencing tools more from home, whether for work or personal reasons. 

How are they spending their free time at home? Playing and discussing video games, as well as watching YouTube videos. They’re joining niche communities focused on home improvement, neighborly values, or fitness. 

The report not only offers this latest information about the trends across social media sign-ups, but multiple strategies and action-steps to take so your brand can reach these communities effectively. 

Reach your niche! Get the report

Strategies and tips to make your brand relevant in the hottest new social media spaces

There are multiple angles to approach marketing to a niche community for a brand, and they are all outlined in the report so you can take the route that best suits your brand, budget and level of expertise.

social media strategies by verizon that enable fans to become loyalists

From the report: Figure 10. Verizon customer promotion of gaming incentives, free to customers.

The report also explains why targeting niche communities like this can be valuable. Although relatively few people in your brand’s audience may be video gamers for example, reaching them with specific video game content creates a huge amount of brand loyalty. It can take people in this community from customer, to fan. This is something that’s immensely powerful, and the way to unlock it is relatively easy. 

Like in all things, best practices still apply and will help you reach your goals faster. That means doing things like optimizing the videos on your YouTube channel so they reach the right people quicker. You can lure people in with subtitles, watermarks and CTAs, so you should! 

A tip like the above may not be the most useful if you’ve already optimized your YouTube channel. But do you know how to identify a brand-safe video game influencer? How about creating content that resonates with people interested in renovating their home-offices? Those strategies and more are included in the report.

Get the social media audience trends report here

With every crisis comes opportunity, and this pandemic and ensuing lockdown are no exception. With everything changing, even the social networks where we spend our time, can your brand’s marketing really afford not to change with them? Get the report today and learn all the ways you can unlock powerful brand loyalists with insights from data and a little creativity.

marketing manager playbook

Want to dig into the research in greater detail? Have follow up questions you want to ask? Tune into a webinar on May 19, 2020 at 1 PM Eastern Time as Trust Insights and Talkwalker dive deep into the paper, answer questions, and help you set strategy based on the results of this paper. Register now for the webinar.


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