Social & Digital Trends Archives - Social Media 101
WHAT ARE THE TRENDS IN SOUTH AFRICA’S SOCIAL MEDIA LANDSCAPE?

WHAT ARE THE TRENDS IN SOUTH AFRICA’S SOCIAL MEDIA LANDSCAPE?

Over the past year and half a shift has been felt in the behaviour of social media users. This shift has had a significant impact in the way that brands and businesses interact with their audiences on social media. Ornico Group hosted a virtual panel discussion on their Annual South Africa Social Media Landscape Report. In the riveting in-depth discussion, the panel provided insight on the latest social media trends shaped by the Covid-19 pandemic. Below we have highlighted the panel’s findings on how brands are engaging their audiences on social media.

 

PANDEMIC DRIVEN DIGITAL CHANGE

Covid-19 has had a lasting impact on how businesses operate. Brands have had to urgently pandemic-proof themselves with fresh and innovative ideas to ensure they stay alive. Social Media has undoubtedly played an enormous role in the survival of many businesses. Businesses have taken advantage of this and heightened their marketing strategies. According to the World Wide Worx, South Africa’s e-commerce sales increased last year by 66% to more than R30-billion as the result of the pandemic because South Africans were opting to buy goods and services online. The South Africa Social Media Landscape Report 2021 found that the top five social media platforms that brands are highly active on in SA are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. A trend expected to be seen in the next 12 months is the presence of more brands on Corporate Blog, Clubhouse, TikTok, and WhatsApp just to name a few. Arthur Goldstuck, CEO of World Wide Worx says the big move to a platform such as Clubhouse will be felt in South Africa now that the platform is available on android, it was previously only available on IOS, while TikTok’s user base is evolving fast making it difficult for brands to keep up with it. Another trend is the increase of live streaming that experts expect to continue rising. 

 

GROWTH OF SOCIAL MEDIA USERS

We have been hearing about the growth of social media users but what do the actual numbers look like? According to the South Africa Social Media Landscape Report 2021, the DataReportal’s Digital 2021 – Global Overview Report indicated that by January 2021, 4.66 billion people globally were using the internet. This is a growth of 316 million (7.3%), and 4.2 billion social media users, growing by 490 million users (13%) from the previous year. The report further indicated that for the same period, the number of internet users in South Africa increased by 1.7 million to 38.2 million users (4.5% increase). It further shows that in the past year, the number of social media users in South Africa has increased to 25 million which represented an increase of 3 million users (14% increase). It is also important to note that there are 24.63 million number of social media accessing via their mobile phones. A total of 98.5% of social media users access platforms using their mobile phones in South Africa.

 

ADVERTISING ON SOCIAL MEDIA

While TV and radio are still seen as the rulers of advertising, it has become clear that social media has “entered the chat”. Businesses are not only realising the importance of advertising on social media, but they are realising that it’s not as simple as posting a picture on Facebook and hoping that your audience sees it, unless you kindly ask Beyonce or Kim Kardashian to post your product to their millions of followers. Even then, an actual social media strategy is needed. The truth is brands are already occupied with the day-to-day aspects of their businesses that they do not have the time nor possess the skills in place to leverage and manage social media effectively to properly execute social media strategies. According to the South Africa Social Media Landscape Report 2021:

  • 9% are ill-quipped
  • 7% are less equipped
  • 30,6% have an adequate skillset
  • 49% have a good skillset
  • 12,6% have an optimal skillset

 

The biggest trend seen in business is brands turning to social media consultancies, marketing agencies, and PR teams for a helping hand. Brands that take their businesses seriously have a set budget purely for social media. The advantage that comes with advertising on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc is that you get more for your buck! Social media advertising enables a business to reach an audience that they would not have been able to reach before at a lower price compared to traditional advertising. 49.5% of companies in South Africa are spending less than R10 000 per month on social media advertising. 1 in 5 companies are spending more than R50 000 per month, and that figure is expected to increase in the next 12 months.

 

THE RETURN OF INVESTMENT

The return of investment (ROI) that brands are seeing because of social media can be difficult to pinpoint however the South Africa Social Media Landscape Report 2021 finds that several businesses say the highest level of investment they have seen has “come in the form of brand awareness, sales, and customer insight”. They have also seen a greater appeal to targeted audiences, improved search ratings, greater cost effectiveness, improves brand loyalty, inbound traffic, increased market share, and better customer satisfaction as brands are easily accessible making communication between the two more effective. “This should be a wakeup call to brands who are not focused on sales, who don’t have an effective social media presence, that this has a direct impact on the bottom line if they do it right” says Arthur Goldstuck, CEO of World Wide Worx.

 

CHALLENGES FACED IN SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING

Social Media data has played a significant role in the relationship between brands and their customers. Businesses have been given a front row seat in getting to know their behaviours and preferences. This powerful data has enabled businesses the ability to build strategies based on the insight they have received directly from their customers. Because of this reason, businesses have been able to evolve in the ever-changing landscape of social media as the behaviours of their audiences evolves too. This has consequently [for businesses] resulted in the App Tracking Transparency. This basically means that social media platforms such as Facebook will have to ask users using apple devices with the new iOS update for permission in order for the platform and advertisers to track their behaviours. Should users opt for their data to not be collected, advertisers will no longer be able to track customers. According to the South Africa Social Media Landscape Report 2021 “the best way to propel a business forward into the digital future is to ensure that we fully understand the digital customer through multiple data points and analytics”. Without the ability to track and measure this data, could pose a challenges for brands on the platform.

 

If your business needs support with its overall digital strategy, paid media, content creation or community management, get in touch with one of our digital specialists CLICK HERE or mail us at: info@socialmedia101.co.za 

7 SOCIAL MEDIA WINS EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD FOLLOW

7 SOCIAL MEDIA WINS EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD FOLLOW

Over the years, businesses have enhanced their digital footprints tremendously. Social media is undoubtedly one of the best vehicles that brands can use to drive their business objectives and achieve their goals. With that being said, not all businesses achieve success through social media. Here are a couple of things that you can do to gain an edge over your competitors.

 

1. CONTENT THAT DRIVES BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

Social media is not fluffy, it is a strategic tool that can be used to drive tangible business value. These objectives could include (but not limited to): brand awareness, building a database, increase app downloads, registering for an upcoming event or driving traffic to your online store. Whatever your objective, it is important to create content that provides value to both the business as well as the customer.

 

2. UTILISING THE RICH PLATFORM DATA

The various social media platforms have gathered an incredible amount of user data, by utilising this data you are able to communicate directly to your ideal customer with little to no wastage. You are able to target your ideal customer based on demographics, interests or behavioural data. Thus, allowing your business to speak to the right person, at the right time, with the right message – at scale.

3. SUPPORT THE ENTIRE CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE

 Social media can support the entire customer life cycle all the way from brand awareness through to the actual sale and even after sales support. With the data contained within the various social media platforms you are also able to track and retarget users with customised content based on where they are in the sales cycle and to support them throughout their customer journey.

 

4. CUSTOMER SERVICE THAT DELIGHTS

 Customer service online should not just be a box that needs ticking. It is important that when your customers reach out to you online with questions, queries or complaints you are able to respond quickly and effectively. There is nothing more frustrating than reaching out to a brand online only to be redirected to a dusty email inbox. It is important that your community managers are empowered to solve issues in real-time.

 

5. PEOPLE DON’T HATE ADS

People don’t hate ads; they hate irrelevant ads. Social media allows brands to connect and advertise directly to their ideal customer solving real problems, offering solutions and adding value. Make sure to customise your content and messaging based on your target audience.

 

6. CONTENT SCHEDULE

 It is important to keep track of your digital marketing strategy. A good way to do this, is by preparing a monthly / weekly content schedule. Not only is this for time management, but this allows you to have a bird’s eye view of your key messaging, content and publishing dates.

 

7. LESS IS MORE

The saying ‘less is more” is oh so relevant on social media. The notion that businesses have to post every day is flawed. Content creation is expensive and takes a lot of time and resources, thus you have to ensure that you’re getting the most value out of the assets that you have created. Focus should be on quality over quantity. This is where utilising paid adverting can be useful in terms of extending the longevity of your posts.

 

READ MORE: 7 SOCIAL MEDIA SINS EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD AVOID

 

If your business needs support with its overall digital strategy, paid media booking, content creation or community management schedule a free call with one of our digital specialists CLICK HERE  or mail us at: info@socialmedia101.co.za 

 

 

 

 

7 SOCIAL MEDIA SINS EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD AVOID

7 SOCIAL MEDIA SINS EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD AVOID

Social media has increasingly become a powerful tool that businesses in various industries have tapped into as means to drive their business objectives. With that said, some businesses are unaware of the social media sins that they are inadvertently committing that could be hindering their success. Here are Social Media 101’s 7 social media sins that every business should avoid.

 

1. WASTING TIME GROWING FOLLOWERS

Over the years, social media platforms have throttled the organic algorithm. This means that the organic reach is now limited to 1-5% of people who follow your page and have opted in to hear from you. The days of posting and expecting your entire audience  to see your posts are in the past. Paid advertising is a must for every business on social media. It allows you to reach a wider audience than just the people following your page. The advantage that comes with paid advertising is the ability to target your ideal customer based on their demographics, interests and behaviours. This ultimately gives your business an edge over others that have not yet tapped into this social media function.

 

2. ONLY FOCUSING ON ENGAGEMENT 

While engagement looks good on your business and personal page, does it drive business values? Engagement is a vanity metric that gives the business social clout however there are other metrics that you should be focusing on to measure true business value. Tracking metrics that drive business objectives should be the number one focus. Metrics such as ‘Traffic’ lead potential customers to the website, and more often than not turn into sales, while ‘Reach’ helps businesses get more eyeballs on their content.  It is important to track the metrics that directly relates back to the business objective that you are looking to achieve with a post. Ask yourself the question “does this metric support my business objective.”

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Social & Digital Media Trends 2019

Social & Digital Media Trends 2019

As we kick off 2019, the energy and anticipation of what lies ahead in the social and digital media spheres is palpable. This includes both tech advancements and changes in the way that businesses incorporate these media functions into their operations. These are some of the social & digital media trends expected to make an impact on the business and marketing landscapes this year:

Business Strategy

>> Integration: Social and digital media will play a much more integrated role within organisations. As opposed to being treated as separate marketing elements, brands are embracing the business functions and value offered by these media types. For example, there will be an increase in the use of omnichannel (multiple channel – e.g. traditional plus social media) marketing, and the use of social media for different business objectives.

>> Risk & Reputation Management: With the ease, speed and reach of social media communication, the potential risk to brand reputation has never been higher. And therefore, the need for crisis and reputation management has never been more vital. Businesses will be partnering more with experts in this field in an attempt to best avoid and/or handle a possible negative public backlash, scandal or crisis linked to their brand.

>> Online & Asset Security: Companies have started to realise that online resources such as their audiences, content and databases are tangible, valuable assets. As such, the need for online security will increase exponentially to address the very real risks to such assets.

>> Budget Allocations: Let’s face it, not all business decision-makers were convinced that social media has a place in business. But now, the ROI and benefits are getting harder to ignore. Social media budget allocations are set to rise across all industries this year. SME’s in particular (even those with tight budgets) will be investing more in social media as the cost not to is too high in the current competitive market.

 

Brand Affinity & Customer Experience

>> Customer Experience & Service: There will be a notable shift towards a more Customer Experience (CX) approach by brands in line with consumer demand trends. Characteristics of this approach include customer-centric elements such as responsiveness, being “always-on”, interactive communication, quality content, targeted messaging & increased use of social media.

>> Brand awareness & affinity: In addition to price and quality, more emotion-based factors like customer sentiment and positive affinity will take centre stage. This is driven by CX-based factors such as ensuring excellent customer experiences throughout their journey with a brand. Positioning a brand as both client-focused and socially responsible is also a great way to drive awareness.

>> Social Listening: This year, egos will take a step back as social listening activities increase. It’s no longer about assuming what people think, but instead finding out how they really feel about a brand based on what is said online. This extends to comments on any platform, not just a business’s own pages.

 

Influencers

>> Micro-influencers: You don’t need to be a celebrity to become an influencer online. In fact, as consumers increasingly demand authenticity and transparency, brands are looking more to micro-influencers to help market their products and services. This could range from a food blogger to a stay-at-home-mom, and anyone between. It’s all about expertise in a field and/or an engaged, relevant audience.

>> Influencer Vetting: As more awareness is shed on factors such as bought or “fake” audiences, brands recognise that there is a need to vet any influencer before creating a partnership. This due diligence includes verifying their audiences, approving content and ensuring that there is no conflict of interest (with a competitor, for example).

>> Employee Advocacy: Also known as Employee Amplification, it refers to using key employees as online ambassadors for their company. Techniques such as positioning certain staff as thought leaders and trusted advisors will gain traction in both the B2B and B2C spheres this year. This is great for both personal and business branding.

 

Video Trends

>> 360 Video: Businesses have started using 360 video to provide users with a panoramic, immersive experience. Industries that are already making use of this include entertainment and tourism companies. With customer experience being at the forefront, more businesses are likely to experiment with this video style in the upcoming months.  

>> Vertical Video: As social and digital gains exponential market share over traditional marketing media, vertical video will be seen more and more. This is simply because such media is viewed predominantly on mobile devices. Instagram has even launched a dedicated vertical video platform, titled IGTV.

>> Native video: The use of native video (video uploaded on a brand’s own page or platform as opposed to a 3rd-party app like YouTube) will also increase. The launch of LinkedIn’s native video ad campaign options and Instagram’s long format video options further support this trend.

 

Tech

>> Automation, AI & Machine Learning: While the “social” side of social media is all about adding the human element to online activity, the tech side is all about reducing human contact points. More businesses will be incorporating automation into their service process, for example, social media bots. It’s all about streamlining processes, improving customer service and cutting costs.

>> Augmented Reality: Ok, so maybe this tech is not quite mainstream as yet, but it is definitely super cool. Augmented Reality or AR refers to digital, interactive technology delivered to the user in real-time. For example, apps that brings a child’s drawing to life when you position a smartphone or tablet above it. This video explains it much better – click to watch. From a marketing perspective, this technology can be used for anything from outdoor media (like a bus shelter) to wine bottle labels – click here to watch video. 

Well there you have it – some exciting stuff in store this year. Keep watch as they start to shake up the business and consumer markets over the upcoming months.

For more info on these or any other social and digital media topics, get in touch with Social Media 101. We would love to chat to you about the best options for your business. CLICK HERE to contact us.