Global news and social media data prove that coronavirus is a serious public health challenge. With more than 100,000 reported cases of COVID-19 globally and more than 3,000 deaths, the virus also represents a severe concern for finance and businesses. It is additionally one of the most active topics on social media, with over 10 million posts shared in the last ten days. Whereas the economy ranked as the #2 topic discussed on social media last week, social conversations are moving from general concerns to more individual perspectives with more discussions related to personal actions to be taken. Ipsos’ global polling reveals that citizens are increasingly concerned about the impact on their financial situation and impact on their work. COVID-19 is becoming highly political too with much more debates amongst people about authorities measures, and with incumbent leaders challenged by opposition parties.
Read more about what we learned this week, leveraging social media data insights from Synthesio’s social listening dashboards.
Online Panic Slows About Rising Coronavirus Cases in Europe and Stock Market Concerns
Online activities such as the volume of posts and interactions have remained very high since their peak last week. Interactions include all the likes, comments, shares, retweets related to an organic mention. Organic mentions reached their peak when the first cases arose in Italy, and when the stock market was affected by spreading uncertainty about the virus. A mention is a digital post – it could be a social post or an online article, as examples – that references a keyword you are monitoring. Please note that Synthesio looked at original mentions only.
The United States surpasses China for the largest volume of conversation, with over 3 million original mentions compared to 1.8 million posts in China. In Europe, it is evident that there is very active COVID-19 coverage. Italy heads up European conversation with nearly 800 thousand original mentions, followed by the United Kingdom, with over 700 thousand original mentions.
After Economy, Social Media Data Shows Online Users Debate Prevention, Next-Steps for Care, and Relevant Authorities
This week, the top four topics discussed in organic conversations online and the news behind the dominance of general outbreak monitoring were as follows:
- Economy and Finance: 722K organic mentions
- Taking Action and Prevention: 705K organic mentions
- Authorities and Politics: 705K organic mentions
- Travel challenges: 295K organic mentions
Since our last release, mentions about actions and authorities have grown.
It is illuminating to observe the trends followed by conversations on the economy, mirroring the US stock market trends. Concern about the global economy reached its highest volume on Friday, February 28th, when the markets hit the sharpest drop since the 2008 economic crisis. Conversations dipped during the weekend but picked up again once the markets re-opened.
Most organic mentions of the coronavirus epidemic and its economic effects come from the news media and Twitter. Blogs and Forums have additionally been particularly active, which demonstrates rising personal concern about the coronavirus epidemic.
Personal Finances Becoming a Concern According to Social Media Data
People are expressing their questions, worries, and complaints about the epidemic on social channels and in forums. Discussions have mainly centered around the challenge of going to work, stemming from fears of public transportation and transport restrictions due to the spreading virus.
A new topic emerging has been the personal financial impact of COVID-19. In the US, people were talking about the cost of protective measures, diagnosis tests, and treatment.
In affected locations, people are sharing testimonies about their experience being quarantined or working from home. In areas that the epidemic has not reached, populations were discussing potential quarantine measures and the impact it will have on their life and especially their work.
Conversations about quarantines and working from home were present in nearly 400 thousand original mentions between February 23rd and March 4th. Sentiment remained mainly positive about quarantine measures, with some people even calling for self-quarantines and working from home to be safe. Specific sectors more exposed to the public should anticipate self-quarantine initiatives like what happened in Paris, France, at The Louvre.
This social media trend echoes the results of a recent Ipsos survey that shows a large acceptance of quarantine containment measures worldwide.
People are debating about employers and public authorities’ management of the situation.
Positive and negative stories about companies’ initiatives to protect their employees were shared extensively this week. This trend confirms the concern of employers about the Coronavirus outbreak. It emphasizes that companies should demonstrate careful attention to the safety of their staff in addition to struggling with other business challenges that have arisen. Debates about the efficacy of measures taken by public authorities have also been at the forefront.
The Coronavirus Epidemic Becomes Political
Social networks serve to amplify citizen’s voices and have already influenced public decisions related to the containment of the Coronavirus. However, it has now become part of high-profile political debate, which is reflected in the list of the top influencers on Twitter. President Donald Trump has finally announced the decision to route a significant portion of the United states budget to support businesses facing hardships, and support medical research for vaccination. Criticism online has grown about Trump’s perceived relaxed attitude about containment in the United States.
Social media data reveals that online conversations about the coronavirus epidemic are at a tipping point. The dialogue has become much more concerning for individual citizens and more challenging for the authorities and politicians to control. We will keep monitoring these trends and hope to update, with more data soon. Please stay safe in the meantime and take precautions by washing your hands and avoiding large public gatherings.
Want to see how your business can use social media data to measure the growing impact that the coronavirus epidemic has on the economy? Contact us today to see Social Listening in action.