Consumers turned to social media to celebrate the reopening of pubs, hairdressers and high street shops as lockdown restrictions were lifted across England.
Data provided by social-first digital marketing agency, the tree, shows that mentions for the words ‘barber’ and ‘hairdresser’ saw the biggest day-on-day increase, of 366 percent and 277 percent, respectively, while mentions of ‘pub’ rose by 272 percent. The data also shows the ‘cheers beer’ emoji was used 1,701 times over the 24-hour period.
Brands, including Tesco, joined in on the celebration. Tesco encouraged its shoppers to support their local pubs in a move widely praised across social media. According to the British Beer & Pub Association, pubs in the UK lost nearly $11.4 billion in beer sales alone—the equivalent of 2.1 billion pints—while 2,000 pubs have closed for good.
Daniel Andrews, CEO and Founder of the tree, said that brands needed to tap into social trends to connect with their audiences.
“After months behind closed doors, hospitality, hairdressers and retail have finally had their big reopening.
“By using in-depth social listening, we’re able to understand consumers’ emotions about the present as well as their hopes and plans for the future, and that’s what we’ve done here.
“What is clear from the positive feeling and support we’ve seen on the first day of the easing of restrictions is that, for these core sectors, consumers are excited to be back supporting businesses. Most importantly, social media is a key indicator of what is yet to come.
“Now is the time for brands to use social to talk to and become personally connected to their customers. It’s vital to react to these trends and involve themselves in the social chatter.
“Flexibility and reactivity to social trends allow brands to strengthen their relationship with their audience, drive product innovation and offers relevant to customer needs. This is paramount in the highly volatile market conditions these industries are currently working in.”
The data showed the word ‘gym’ jumped 138 percent to 13,000 mentions. Though this is an increase in mentions, it is lower than mentions relating to the other sectors that reopened. Andrews said this reflected how the pandemic had changed working and living practices, citing the rising popularity of home workouts. Brands such as Peloton have made huge inroads during the pandemic.
Mentions relating to ‘non-essential’ retailers saw an uptick, with mentions of the ‘high street’ up 268 percent. ‘Shops’ was mentioned by consumers 14,300 times across social media—a 276 percent increase. Many retail brands have relied on digital channels to communicate and sell to their customers during the pandemic.
The likes of ASOS and Boohoo have demonstrated this in their financial results. Those with a strong ecommerce offering and social presence, as well as the ability to adapt quickly to consumer trends, have also done well.