2020 Coronavirus Social Media and Search Study by SEMrush
As the World Health Organisations declares the coronavirus outbreak to be a global health emergency new cases of the alarming Coronavirus continue to be reported in Australia. With news updates being posted or announced every hour, worried Australians are jumping online to find out more.
Not only has the virus spread around China and globally with confirmed cases now in Australia, Germany and the USA, so too has the misinformation surrounding the crisis. Conspiracy theories have spread like wildfire across the internet via social media sharing and this is partly due to the strictly censored and limited news coming out of China.
Some people have suggested it was planned to control the population, others have said that it is a bioweapons attack, one idea was that it was due to the Chinese bat soup and others have blamed scientists for deliberately developing it. There are also some claims that the actual number of people infected in China is more like 90,000 and the Chinese Government is covering up the truth.
Olga Andrienko, Head of Global Marketing at SEMrush says amongst fear of the unknown people are turning to social media to voice their concerns.
“It’s fairly common these days for misinformation to be spread via social media during a crisis and this was seen during Australia’s bushfire emergency recently too. The public is rightfully concerned for their family’s welfare at the moment and the lack of news coming out of China and the statements from the Australian authorities calling for calm is driving both online search and social media chatter surrounding the Coronavirus epidemic.”
More often than ever these days people are turning to Google to seek answers and this is extremely clear when it comes to the virus. The top question people are asking is if the coronavirus is deadly which has seen a 400% growth between January 21st to 24th alone. The question most people are becoming increasingly concerned with is ‘what are the symptoms of coronavirus’ which has seen a 700% jump in searches within just three days.
Top 5 questions people are searching about coronavirus online:
- Is coronavirus deadly?
- What is coronavirus?
- What are coronavirus symptoms?
- What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
- Is coronavirus contagious?
Global Search Volumes:
- Each day since January 21 the popularity of the search term ‘china virus’ grows by 15%
- Meanwhile for the term ‘Coronavirus’ it’s about 25%, compared to the previous day.
- Overall both terms have grown 10 times in comparison with January 20th.
- Google searches for ‘Corona Beer’' and ‘Corona Beer Virus' are both up significantly in the last week, when the first cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the U.S.
- Online Searches for face masks are drastically increasing - ‘P2 face mask’ has risen by 8507% and ‘face protection mask’ soared by 1340% since the beginning of the year.
Coronavirus related Social Media Sentiment
|Posts for Jan 14-28, 2020||Top hashtags||Top words|
|Total number of Instagram posts||22,195||Hashtag||count||word||count|
|Instagram posts used for sentiment analysis (>2 words)||19,560||#coronavirus||1702||coronavirus||24365|
|Time range||Jan 14-28||#china||1089||china||13656|
|Sentiment||% of tweets||#wuhan||811||Wuhan||8736|
|Most Popular Post||#outbreak||507||news||2623|
|Tweets for Jan 14-28, 2020||Top hashtags||Top words|
|Total number of tweets||1,781,406||hashtag||count||word||count|
|Tweets used for analysis (due to time limitations)||197,329||#coronavirus||64547||coronavirus||207208|
|Tweets used for sentiment analysis (>2 words)||175,898||#wuhan||7366||china||55337|
|Time range||Jan 14-28||#china||6875||Wuhan||31072|
|Sentiment||% of tweets||#coronaoutbreak||2340||people||15670|
|Most Popular Tweet||#wuhanvirus||1256||new||10535|