Use of Social Media Will Accelerate in an Economic Downturn

I have been pondering something lately, and have formed the following hypothesis. The current economic climate will lead to an increase in the growth of Social Media participation. More people will explore it for the first time and others that have only dabbled will move up the participation ladder.

thinkingcloudThere is a convergence of elements that will contribute to the growth and usage of Social Media networks.

  • Winter is coming – it’s darker and colder and people stay inside more
  • Consumers will pull back on their spending – eating out, travel, shows, etc.
  • Rise in unemployment – some will unfortunately be forced to look for a job

Social networks and the rich content they provide will be an even more valuable channel to research career information, obtain financial advice and connect with people. It also provides a level of entertainment and stress relief (YouTube videos for instance) which will be a nice counterweight to the increased stresses of the time. Consumers can participate in Social Media for no more money than their current internet access investment and they will have recaptured time on their hands, affording them the opportunity.

Social media content is briskly rising in search results rankings and as such exposes more Internet users to social sites during their online research. The more time they spend on these sites the more they will be drawn into it for utility reasons. This will then become the gateway to full-on social participation.

Brands will want to tap this increasing traffic by customizing their content to meet these evolving consumer needs. Bank of America has begun to advertise their savings products as “risk free investments.” Smart considering what’s happening in the marketplace. It’s also might be a great time to think about how to inject E-Commerce into social platforms in preparation for the inevitable upturn.

Would love to hear some thoughts on this.

One comment

  1. Anecdotally speaking, I’ve seen an uptick in the number of people using social media to look for new jobs — an unfortunate by-product of the recessionary times in which we live. One job seeker commented to me that it’s difficult to really use social media in creative ways to showcase one’s talents when companies insist that they submit standard resumes via email aliases.

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