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Building national movements on social media #ClapForOurCarers

Apr 28, 2020 • Karl Knights

The nation continues to gather weekly to #ClapForOurCarers, saluting the NHS staff and other key workers helping with the coronavirus pandemic. Having started back in March after a woman was inspired by the same event happening in her home country of the Netherlands, #ClapForOurCarers has become a moving global experience. Take the fact that even the Royal Family help to lead the movement, joining weekly and posting on Twitter to showcase their appreciation of the country’s key workers. Even this week they did the same with a build up through a comic sketch with Stephen Fry during the BBC Big Night In show.

While it’s clear that the UK wants to show constant support to the NHS during these unprecedented times by continuing to take to their windows and balconies, and many venturing onto the street edge, this is also translating into a wider movement on social media. It’s great to see our feeds are  inundated with uplifting videos of the nation-wide round of applause. In addition, people continue to encourage each other to #StayAtHome

Graph for #StayAtHome, #ClapForourCarers and #NHS

Analysing the engagement

There are a few interesting spikes in the usage of hashtags between 10th March and 6th April 2020 on public social media posts across Facebook and Twitter.

Social Engagement index (y-axis in chart) refers to the number of posts for a given hashtag on each day as compared to the average daily number of posts for the three hashtags for the given time period.

For example, a value of 3.3 for #ClapForOurCarers on 26 March means there were 3.3 times more #ClapForOurCarers posts on 26 March compared to the daily average number of #ClapForOurCarers, #NHS, and #StayAtHome posts from 10 March – 23 April.

Notable peaks

  • #StayAtHome 9.3 : 22nd (lockdown announced)
  •  #ClapForOurCarers 3.3 : 26th (first clap)
  •  #StayAtHome 4.4 : 31st March (Government announcing more ventilators – we must not let up)

So what does this ultimately mean? It is showing us there is a strong sense of a close-knit-community at a national level on social media. It is showing that these platforms play a key role through these difficult times. And they can be a key driver in promoting acts of kindness, fuelling others to act and at that, a prime example of how ‘real life’ physical activities are translating into digital experiences.

Finally, it is showing us that digital channels are effective for promoting video content and winning people’s attention. This can also be said for the immense scale of the #RunForHeros campaign on Instagram which has engaged many across all regions of the UK. The message is simple – run 5k, donate £5, nominate 5 people on your social media to do the same.

It’s truly heartwarming to see the #ClapForOurCarers movement continuing to grow, and we only expect to see engagement numbers on Twitter and Facebook to increase, as more people join every week and take to social to show their heartfelt appreciation and support. 👏👏