Listening + Learning: What a Well-Timed Social Media Quiz Taught Us About COVID-19 Attitudes

Who wants to be talked to about COVID-19—and how? It’s an important question for a rapid communications platform to answer.

During the COVID-19 crisis, every department of Evive has been mobilized to rally around the right tactics to support our customers and their workforce as they navigate the fears, doubts, challenges, and pure logistics of the situation.

Our underlying response—and one that I’ve been energized to support as a member of the marketing team—is consumer listening. How are people feeling on a day to day to basis? What are their appetites for communication: from topic, to frequency, to content? How can we rapidly bring those highly dynamic insights back to our customers—and our user experience?

In pursuit of these findings, we’ve quickly executed a wide array of research efforts. Over the months of April and May, we:

  • Deployed two national surveys: one on early consumer behaviors around COVID-19 and another on employee return-to-work sentiments
  • Introduced COVID-19-relevant questions into MyEvive’s daily user poll content, generating thousands of data points that have led to rich, timely workforce insights about safety, risk, and benefits needs that we’ve reported back to our customers
  • Last but not least, launched a novel Facebook quiz that gleans daily attitudes regarding COVID-19 while providing a clear mental health value to the quiz-taker (they can post their quiz result to their wall, signaling to friends and family exactly how they feel and want to be talked to—or not talked to—on that given day!)

Let’s dig into this Facebook effort now: its genesis, its findings, and its application to how we might talk to employees with diverse needs during this still-unfurling crisis.

Building a current events Facebook quiz

For the greater good

We noticed from responses to our national surveys and MyEvive daily poll questions that people were seeking mental health resources at a high frequency. Similar to how we quickly built and launched Evive.Care to drive the general public to local testing sites, we sought to fulfill another greater good initiative with our Facebook quiz. We wanted to tap the national pulse on COVID-19 sentiments and behaviors; but at the same time, we wanted to provide a highly valuable resource for the quiz-taker—something beyond the limited self-reflection other Facebook quizzes tend to offer. 

The quiz details

With these intentions in mind, we built a 6-question quiz that provided the respondent’s “COVID-19 mood” for the day. Similar to an enneagram personality test, the possible results were assigned based off of two binaries: hopefulness/doubtfulness and socialness/antisocialness.

  • Reflectors were feeling hopeful, but not social.
  • Collaborators were feeling hopeful and social. 
  • Resters were feeling neither hopeful nor social.
  • Debaters were feeling doubtful, but social.

The value proposition to respondents, beyond the important mental health utility of self-reflection? They could share those results with their mass of Facebook friends in a way that could invite (or curtail) COVID-19-related communication. By sharing their quiz results to their wall, respondents could non-combatively say: Talk to me this way (or please don’t talk to me at all) today.

Digging into the results

We actively promoted the survey in April, collecting nearly 7,000 quiz results. Here’s what we learned:

  • People were more hopeful than doubtful—but that didn’t mean they wanted to talk COVID-19 with you. More than 1 in 2 (55%) quiz-takers were Reflectors (hopeful, but didn’t want to talk), and 22% were Collaborators (hopeful and social). The doubtful profiles came together to comprise the remaining less-than-one-quarter of the population, with Resters (doubtful, unsocial) clocking in at 18% and Debaters (doubtful and social) summing up just 5%.
  • More than anything, people were worried about their ability to make it out of the crisis OK socially (46%) and financially (43%). And a mere 8% of respondents felt they’d make it out of the crisis OK in all four areas we asked about: socially, financially, emotionally, and physically.
  • When we asked about what, if anything, people wanted to hear about, we learned that only 1 in 5 people wanted to hear about COVID-19-related news or stats, while about 1 in 3 wanted to hear about the more social topic of how others were making the most of shelter-in-place, and about 1 in 3 wanted to hear nothing at all.
  • Falling in line with the previous finding, 2 out of 3 respondents felt that people talked to them too much about COVID-19. 62% said other people “annoy” or “worry” them. And only about 1 out of 4 respondents indicated that they trusted other people to do the right thing to end the crisis as soon as possible.

Following through on the findings

As you can see, most people were feeling tired, uncommunicative, and pessimistic about the future. This wasn’t surprising news, but it solidified our customers’ efforts to connect employees with mental health resources, as well as other benefits and messages of reassurance during this time in the crisis.

This data set also provided an insightful contrast to what we learned in our two consumer surveys. While Facebook taught us that most people were fed up and done with hearing about what their network thought about COVID-19, the employer mouthpiece brought forth a totally different sentiment. People who received daily communications from their employer were more likely to be ready to return to work, more likely to feel loyal to their employer, more likely to be promoters on an employer NPS question…and the list goes on.

The role of rapid, relevant employer communications occupies a prestige higher than what a social network has to say in a crisis. Given the deep benefits and resources employers offer, we say that makes sense—and lots of it. As we dive into the return-to-work period, we remain mobilized in our mission to survey, segment, and send the right message to the right employee at the right time: to make life easier, to make workforces safer and happier, and to drive greater value for our customers, pre- and post-COVID-19.

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