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New data reveals Instagram is the most popular social media platform amongst UK consumers – with nearly half (46%) selecting it as the app they have consumed the most content on during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The data, compiled by Influenster, a Bazaarvoice company, also reveals a shift in consumer behaviour, with 82% of consumers increasing their social media consumption since the outset of the pandemic.

During lockdown 67% have increased their use of Instagram; the photo-sharing app is ever-popular for consumers interested in influencer content and shopping content. 47% of UK consumers have also increased their use of TikTok – since the pandemic started, the entertainment app has become the most used platform for one in five (21%) consumers.

Key insights

  • Social media consumption: Since the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, 82% of consumers have increased social media consumption. 67% of consumers have increased their use of Instagram, compared to 47% for TikTok, 35% for Youtube, and 30% for Facebook.
    • 46% of respondents selected Instagram as the app they have consumed the most.
  • Social media content: During the pandemic, the most popular forms of social media content have been influencer content (46%) and shopping content (39%).
  • Shopping behaviour: A quarter (25%) of consumers prefer shopping on social media, and of these, 92% shop from Instagram followed by Facebook at 39%.
    • 22% shop from YouTube and 20% shop from TikTok.

Suzin Wold, SVP Marketing, Bazaarvoice  says “This data reveals that social media is playing an increasingly important role in brand engagement and consumers’ purchase decisions. With 82% of UK consumers using social platforms more since the pandemic started, it’s vital for retailers to respond to this behaviour shift and ensure their social media presence meets consumer expectations.

“The rising popularity of Instagram, as consumers search for influencer and shopping content, coupled with the increased use of new platforms like TikTok, present a key opportunity for retailers to use consumer-generated content. By focusing on their community, retail brands can provide relevant, high-quality content that engages consumers on the platforms that matter to them most. This empathetic approach is also crucial for retailers to build trust.”

Social media consumption

  • The majority of respondents agreed that their social media consumption (82%) and posting (47%) have increased during lockdown.
  • Instagram is the platform they have consumed the most (46%) and Instagram is the platform they have increased their overall usage (67%) with during this time.
  • While the top percentage of respondents said that they haven’t decreased their usage of social platforms (38%), for those that have, Facebook is the platform they have decreased their time with (23%), followed by Snapchat (21%), and Twitter (19%).
  • Over half (53%) said they have used this time as an opportunity to try a new platform that they hadn’t used before.
    • TikTok is the most popular new platform, with a third (34%) of consumers using this.
  • TikTok (37%), Instagram (28%), and YouTube (20%) have been the preferred platforms to ‘escape/use purely for enjoyment’ during lockdown.
  • 57% of respondents said there is NOT a platform they’re avoiding right now due to Covid-19 information overload and 44% stated that they did NOT have a preferred platform for information and/or updated as it relates to the pandemic.
  • During the pandemic, the most popular forms of social media content have been influencer content (46%) and shopping content (39%).

Shopping behaviour on social media

  • 63% of respondents said that they shopped via social media prior to the pandemic.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, social media (87%) has been the most common channel to get information about a brand and its products followed by the brand’s website (44%), email (39%), digital advertising (25%), WOM (23%), blogs (18%), TV advertising (10%), in-store promotions (9%), direct mail (7%), text messages (3%), and podcasts (2%).
  • 59% of respondents prefer shopping directly from a brand’s website, 54% preferred retailer sites, 31% of respondents prefer shopping from links that influencers provide, 25% prefer shopping from social media platforms, 16% prefer ordering online and then picking up in-store, and 9% said that they only shop in-store.
    • Of the respondents who prefer shopping on social media, 92% shop from Instagram followed by Facebook at 39%.
    • Of the respondents who prefer shopping from social media influencers, 38% of respondents shop from links provided by nano influencers (1K-10K followers) 37% said micro-influencers (10k-100k), 30% said known experts, 28% said mega influencers (500K-1MM), 27% said macro influencers (100K-500K), 17% said celebrities, and 3% said none of the above.
  • 36% of respondents indicated that most of their new purchases come from the discoveries they make on social media.
  • 72% of respondents visit a brand’s social media pages before making a purchase.

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