It’s difficult to contemplate the various ways in which 2020 has changed the way we live, the way we think, and the way we might approach life moving forward.
Of course, the most likely, long-term outcome will be much the same – people will eventually go back to doing things the way they always have, and that’ll become the norm once again. Eventually, we’re likely to move on, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and continue on with regular life. But there will be impacts, and those impacts could be significant, especially among younger, more impressionable people, for whom the virus has changed their perspective on the world and how they want to live in it.
Given this, it’s interesting to note the latest conversational shifts and topics gaining momentum among social media users at the moment – and this week, Twitter has provided some insight into key topics of focus among its users, and where people are paying more attention as a result of the pandemic.
The insights could help you get a better understanding of these key shifts, and how they relate to your marketing communications – here’s a look at some of the key trends Twitter has identified in its analysis.
First off, parenting has changed in 2020, with kids spending more time at home, and parents engaging more with their children amid the lockdowns.
That’s lead to more challenges, and more perspective on how kids spend their time – but it could also lead to new understanding of how young people adapt, and what parents can do to engage their kids in new projects, topics and ideas.
Mental health has also, understandably, become a bigger focus, with the isolation and stress of the pandemic impacting many.
The lockdowns will affect people in different ways, while the direct impacts of the virus itself come with their own mental health implications and concerns.
The lockdowns have also pushed people towards new hobbies in replacement of their regular social activities.
There’s a lot of opportunity there for holiday promotions and tie-ins – with more people seeking creative inspiration, there are various ways that brands can link into these trends to boost their holiday campaigns.
Those trends also relate to this element:
Things that many have taken for granted, like travel and social activity, have now become a bigger focus as a result of the pandemic, and while the economic impacts are also significant, we may well see a big increase in activity around adventure holidays and the like as the lockdown restrictions are gradually lifted.
And an important note for brands:
As has already been well-documented in various studies, the next generation of consumers are increasingly attuned to social causes, and brands which link into them. That’s been further underlined by the pandemic – and as this stat shows, consumers want to feel like they’re contributing, and helping where they can, which is not only good for them and the businesses they’re frequenting, but also for society in general.
These are some interesting insights, which could provide guidance for your strategic approach. And as we head into the final stretch of the year (Christmas is now only 83 days away), and businesses look to recoup what they can through their holidays sales, considerations like these could be key in maximizing performance, and connecting with consumers on a deeper level in 2020.
You can read all of Twitter’s latest trend insights here.
Jailed Saudi woman tweeter shrugged off risk: friend
Image: – © AFP/File DOMINICK REUTER
A Saudi woman given 34 years in prison for tweets critical of the government knew people were informing on her but did not take it seriously, a friend said Thursday.
Salma al-Shehab, a member of the Shiite minority in the Sunni-ruled kingdom, had been studying for a doctorate in Britain and was arrested in January 2021 while on holiday.
On August 9 she was sentenced to 34 years in jail for aiding dissidents seeking to “disrupt public order” in the kingdom by relaying their tweets.
A friend of Shehab, who asked not to be identified for her own security, said she had not taken threats of denunciation seriously.
“We discussed people harassing her on Twitter and reporting her tweets to the security services online,” the friend told AFP.
“She didn’t think the authorities would be interested in someone with less than 2,000 followers,” she added.
Shehab now has around 3,000 followers on Twitter.
A mother of two and a PhD candidate at Britain’s University of Leeds, School of Medicine, she was also banned from travelling abroad for a further 34 years as part of the sentence.
The oil-rich Gulf state has cracked down on rights activists, many of whom have been jailed and banned from travel.
Women’s rights activists have also been targeted.
The crackdown increased after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler in 2017.
The authorities have made available an app called “Kollona Amn” (Arabic for “We are all security”) which allows “all citizens and residents in Saudi Arabia to play the role of police officer”.
It is used to report accidents or crimes — but can also be a tool to denounce political opponents.
Shehab tweeted mostly about women’s rights in the conservative country.
She was jailed just weeks after US President Joe Biden visited Saudi Arabia, a controversial trip because of the kingdom’s human rights record.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday that Washington regularly raised the issue of human rights with Riyadh.
“Exercising freedom of expression to advocate for the rights of women should not be criminalised,” he said.
Rights group Amnesty International has called for Shehab’s immediate and unconditional release. It described her jailing as “outrageous”.
On its website, the University of Leeds said in a statement it was “deeply concerned” by the development, “and are seeking advice on whether there is anything we can do to support her”.
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