A tweet every 45 milliseconds, how people are talking about coronavirus

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 20 March 2020

There has been a COVID-19 related tweet every 45 milliseconds as people around the world become fixated on the unfolding pandemic.

Twitter has released data on how the platform is being used during the outbreak of COVID-19, known as coronavirus, finding that there’s been millions of tweets and retweets in the past few months.

The #Coronavirus is now the second most used hashtag of 2020.

A majority of these tweets (75%) are retweets, indicating that people are looking for authoritative voices to share.

“The scale and impact of COVID-19 can feel overwhelming,” Twitter Australia head of brand strategy Lee Owens says.

“It’s global, open-ended, and affecting every brand, business, and individual in some way. There are immediate concerns for the health and safety of populations around the world and urgent questions about economic resilience.”

Twitter has released guidelines for brands using the platform to connect with customers, advising them to be thoughtful of their tone of voice and keep up-to-date with unfolding events to ensure their message fits the context.

The social media company also urges brands to share useful and reliable information that might help with people’s uncertainty, such as keeping people updated on stock to help mitigate panic buying.

Owens reminds brands that while the platform can help them connect with customers and employees, they shouldn’t seek to capitalise during the pandemic.

“Let’s be clear. This is not a ‘marketing opportunity’ to capitalise on, and we do not recommend brands opportunistically linking themselves to a health scare,” he says.

“However, we need to recognise that this is a new reality and requires thoughtful navigation, from all of us.”

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