Social Media Engagement 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 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 Media Rules of Engagement [Business Guide]

Social Media Rules of Engagement [Business Guide]

Forget rules of engagement, when it comes to social media, the rule IS engagement. In fact, engagement is a huge driving force behind most social media activities including business pages. It is often used to measure the success of a post or campaign, as well as gauge overall sentiment. Read on to find out how to make your social media presence more engaging.

 

Social Media Engagement

Social media engagement refers to different types of actions across the various platforms. These include: likes, shares, comments, retweets, clicks and other reactions to social media posts.

For businesses, the engagement need is twofold:

>> Firstly, you need to post content that your users find engaging. This helps you retain existing fans as well as attract new followers. But it’s not just about a great online presence. This positive sentiment extends to real-world benefits such as increased sales and new customers.

>> The other crucial factor is engaging with your audience. This includes acknowledging positive feedback, responding to messages and providing efficient service.

 

Social Media Rules of Engagement Bootcamp

In military terms, “Rules of Engagement” refers to rules soldiers need to follow when out in the field (for example: you are allowed to return fire if someone shoots at you). Well, social media has its own set of rules for interacting with users, and these apply to both the friendly and hostile users that visit your page. To help you navigate the online minefield, here’s our Social Media Rules of Engagement Bootcamp guide:

 

Social Media Rules of Engagement: Bootcamp Guide

>> Content is the Captain: For content to be engaging, it needs to be useful, interesting and high quality. Dip into your creative artillery and use different media types (such as video, animation and static content). Make sure there is value for the user while still promoting business objectives.

>> Game-plan: Start with a social media strategy. This should include content, scheduling, account management and related processes. Make sure your team members are well trained in their specific tasks, or bring in an expert to assist. For brands besieged with queries, there has to be a plan in place to deal with high message volumes (after all, you can’t go out into the social media field unarmed).

>> Going AWOL: Don’t let your social media visibility go AWOL (missing) due to not posting content for long periods. Posts need to be frequent enough to keep users engaged, but not so many that it becomes an annoyance in their newsfeeds.

>> Guerrilla Tactics: Using Guerrilla tactics like click-bait is risky. You may get the initial link-click engagement using this technique, but you are likely to lose the person altogether from this kind of method.

>> Patrolling: Patrol often by frequently checking your pages for comments or queries. People expect super-fast response times on social media, so make sure you have processes in place to provide it.

>> Battlefield: Don’t go into battle with users. Even if you are receiving hostile comments that are unjustified, stay on the high ground. Remain polite, professional and in line with brand tone at all times. Neither defensive nor offensive techniques work – there are no winners if you go into battle with customers.

When it comes to social media engagement, your primary missions are to drive user engagement and engage with users. And yes, sometimes it may seem like a battlefield when users start firing negative comments. But success lies in effective leadership, a strategic approach and professional responses at all time. Quality content and service should be your weapons of choice. And with the right team at your side, you will be on your way to winning on social media.

Need to call in the big guns? Get in touch with Social Media 101 – we can help lead your team to social media victory. CLICK HERE to contact us.