Influencer marketers say sponsored Instagram posts have had views, likes, and comments sharply increase the past 2 weeks

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  • As more people stay home in an effort to help contain the spread of the new coronavirus, social-media use appears to be increasing.
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  • Influencer marketers are seeing a spike in ad impressions and user engagement on sponsored posts on apps like TikTok and Instagram.
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  • The influencer marketing agency Obviously said it’s seen a 76% boost in the number of “likes” on sponsored posts on Instagram in the past two weeks.
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  • The firm is also reporting a 27% increase in engagement on sponsored posts on TikTok between February and March.
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As schools close, companies ask their employees to work from home, and some countries go on lockdown in efforts to help contain the coronavirus outbreak, people appear to be spending more time on social media, driving higher engagement on influencer marketing campaigns on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.

Two influencer marketing agencies told Business Insider that they’ve seen a boost in engagement and ad impressions on sponsored posts on TikTok and Instagram in the past few weeks.

The influencer marketing agency Obviously said it’s seen a 76% increase in daily accumulated “likes” on sponsored posts for its influencer campaigns on Instagram over the past two weeks.

The company also observed a 27% increase in engagement on sponsored posts on TikTok between February and March. Engagement on TikTok is calculated by combining likes, comments, and shares and dividing by total views.

“Everyone is home and is on TikTok actively, and everyone’s social distancing,” said Mae Karwowski, the company’s founder and CEO. “We’re just consuming so much more content.”

A spike in engagement for sponsored posts on TikTok comes at a time when the app is also seeing its user base grow dramatically. TikTok had its best month ever for app installs in February, with the platform seeing close to 113 million App Store and Google Play downloads globally, according to data from the app analytics firm Sensor Tower.

The influencer marketing agency Sapphire Apps said it’s also seeing more impressions and engagement on TikTok in recent weeks as more Americans spend time on the app.

“Our campaigns are getting more views, and the ability to go viral is much better right now,” said Anish Dalal, the company’s CEO.

While some travel influencers are seeing their influencer marketing campaigns canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, other marketers are increasing their investment in social-media advertising. Dalal said he’s seen the number of campaigns for companies that sell software to help users work remotely grow by between 200% and 300%. Campaigns associated with live events are getting canceled, he noted.

Ariana Jacob, founder of the influencer marketing agency Influences, said she expects to lose budgets for event-based marketing as concerts like Coachella are cancelled, but she expects ad impressions and engagement on existing campaigns to grow as users spend more time on social media.

“Because people are staying at home, I think that they’re going to be watching a lot more TikToks and a lot more social media,” Jacob said. “It’s not necessarily a bad thing for my content creators.”

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