Technology plays a huge role in the new normal as people use their gadgets and go online to remain productive. According to We Are Social and Hootsuite’s Digital 2020 report, the Philippines has the highest time spent using the internet with an average of 9 hours and 45 minutes per day online. As the preferred platform for real-time information, Filipinos go to Twitter spark conversations and be informed on #WhatsHappening on a multitude of topics such as news, culture, entertainment, tech, and more.
Filipinos on Twitter are highly receptive audiences, and according to the Global Web Index Coronavirus Research Wave 3 in late April 2020, 73% of them are optimistic that the country will overcome the COVID-19 outbreak. This encouraging sentiment is a great insight and can help brands as they craft appropriate launches to further help people thrive amid the pandemic.
As everyone is advised to #StayHome, people turned to their gadgets to work, study, and enjoy leisure activities. People spent more time watching shows, streaming music, and generally spent longer hours on social media. In short, their lifestyle during the pandemic pressed on with the help of technology and their devices. Here are 4 insightful bits on Filipinos’ tech habits during this pandemic and how it can help brands launch and connect on Twitter.
⦁ Media usage rose during pandemic
With concerts postponed and theaters temporarily closing down during the pandemic, people filled their entertainment needs at home using their devices. During the pandemic, the media consumption of Filipinos on Twitter rose up, 72% are watching more videos while 69% of them are spending more time on social media. Being at home also increased people’s consumption of streaming services (62%) as they finally had time to binge watch their favorite shows. On the other hand, people also reported increased hours of listening to music and even time for video games.
Brands must take note where the people are now mostly. Given that many of them are spending longer hours on social media, it is important for brands to reach out and make people aware of their presence. People are doing a lot of online activities, so brands can either take it as a roadblock or an opportunity to connect with people. For example, Vivo Philippines (@Vivo_Phil) grabbed the chance and connected with them through Tweets that encouraged people to join the conversation and fun challenges.
⦁ Always glued to their devices
During the pandemic, 81% of Filipinos on Twitter are using their smartphones to go online as compared to using other devices. Through the small screens, they were able to connect to the world and accomplish whatever they need, be it looking for the latest news, fresh deals, free services, and even what brands are doing during these challenging times.
What’s more important is that they are also active in initiating conversations on what they currently need and want. Being proactive in listening to your audience is helpful for brands to keep up with the trends, properly launch initiatives that respond to the current demands of the market, and to connect and let people know that brands value and hear their voice. For example, Vivo Philippines (@Vivo_Phil) made sure to show appreciation to a user’s Tweet who supported Maine Mendoza’s (@mainedcm) phone endorsement.
⦁ A huge rise on Tech topic on Twitter
The new normal are online classes, working from home, and doing most of the activities online. It’s no surprise that people all around the world are talking about technology. For one, 3.8M+ Tweets about mobile phones alone were seen globally in April 2020. The massive volume of Tweets shows a growing community of people wanting to know more on the latest gadgets they should invest in.
Here are the top mobile-related hashtags in the Philippines in May 2020.
It is also important for brands to actively inform the public on their offerings, whether it is a product or service that addresses their needs or a new innovation that can elevate one’s lifestyle. Leveraging on the active participation of users in the platform can help brands achieve wider reach and get closer to a community that openly shares their sentiments and experiences. For example, Vivo Philippines (@Vivo_Phil) went to Twitter to create buzz about their latest flagship phone, the Vivo V19. Through promoted Tweets, videos, and the official hashtag, #IgniteYourNight, Vivo was able to capture the audience and spark conversations to get them talking about their latest smartphone release.
“Since it’s impossible to do a physical launch at the moment, we took this challenge rather as an opportunity to further strengthen our presence online,” said Tess Xian, Digital Marketing Lead, Vivo Philippines. “We launched our #IgniteYourNight campaign on Twitter because more than the attention, we also want to interact and hear what people have to say about our brand. We believe that having this shared experience of using the same hashtag or striking up a conversation with them is meaningful as it helps us get to know them better, so we can also serve them better,” she added.
⦁ Be ready with their post-pandemic shopping list
As Filipinos remain a positive outlook, they are also hopeful about their plans should we finally be free from the pandemic. 15%of Filipino Twitter users are expected to be inclined in buying smart devices and smartphones post-pandemic. But more importantly, brands should take note that the main items that are expected to fill their virtual or physical shopping carts will be food and other grocery items (30%).
When it comes to factors that might influence their support for businesses, 42% Filipino Twitter users are inclined to support brands that have helped them during the pandemic, while 62% of Filipinos on Twitter think that brands that best meet their needs during the pandemic will also influence their support post-pandemic. This is important as 90% of Filipinos on Twitter believe that offering free services is the best way for brands to respond to #COVID19, according to the Global Web Index COVID19 Multi-market Study in March 2020.
When Ligo Sardines (@LigoSardinesPH) announced that they will be donating their ad budget to COVID-19 relief efforts, a Twitter user declared his support for the brand as a way to thank them for their kind gesture. The Twitterverse is an active community, so being on the platform is a great opportunity for brands and organizations to share their narrative, show that they care, and that they are easy to get in touch with.
“During the pandemic, we saw an interesting increase in people’s activity on Twitter as well as in using their devices for gaming, entertainment, staying connected to friends/family and to freely make use of their time consuming media while being stuck at home. This shows that people are attuned and counting on tech and media to help get them through the day and move forward in the new normal. As more people stay indoors, we should expect tech and media consumption to increase, and likewise anticipate a significant dip once the pandemic is over since people will most likely log off and catch up on real-life experiences and interaction,” said Martyn U’ren, Twitter Head of Research, APAC & MENA.
“The interesting time will be post the lockdown enforcement. How many of these new or expanded habits will continue when we have the opportunity to catch up on real-life experiences and interactions,” he added.
People go online because they want information, and they go to Twitter because they want it real-time. By knowing their preferences and listening to their sentiments, brands can help Filipinos thrive by launching campaigns that truly connect to their wants and needs; be it pre, during, or post-pandemic.