Brand conversations are vital in the COVID age—which ones are making real connections?

Agility PR


by Richard Carufel | Jun 19, 2020 | Covid-19, Public Relations


Amid the chaos of the COVID pandemic, the resulting shelter orders and temporary store closings, it’s been easy for brands to slip off the radar—people just have more important things to worry about these days. So for brands to remain vital, they have to connect with their audiences emotionally, and make sure they’re sharing lots of content. New research from social intelligence firm Engagement Labs reveals which brands have been able to make those connections, both online and off.


As consumer priorities and interests have shifted, entertainment, and particularly streaming services, are among brands benefiting the most, consistent with the company’s earlier reports. Their latest TotalSocial rankings—based on a combination of metrics including how much conversation brands earn, how positive, whether consumers are sharing brand content, and how well the brand is connecting with the most influential consumers—examine brand conversations in March-May (the “Covid quarter”).

The top brand for offline conversation is Disney+, which zoomed from last place to first since before its November 2019 launch. HGTV also rose remarkably, from 300th to 9th in 12 months, reflecting much more time for watching television, and interest in home improvement among people stuck at home. Indeed, HGTV is the only brand to appear in both the online and offline TotalSocial Top Ten, having risen from 23rd to 6th online.

In online conversations, the Food Network moved up to first place, thanks to increased interest in home cooking during the pandemic, as reflected in more positive conversations about the brand online. Media and entertainment brands perform particularly well online, capturing eight of the top ten positions, with big gains for HGTV, Spotify, and the NFL.

Notably absent from the Top Ten lists vs. a year ago are Trivago, Audi, and USAA offline, and Disney World online. Declining interest in travel and automobiles during the pandemic explain these declines.



Read the full Agility PR Bulldog Reporter article, here.

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