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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 

 

 

 

 

COMMON MISTAKES BRANDS MAKE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

COMMON MISTAKES BRANDS MAKE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Running a successful social media campaign can be tricky. Below we have highlighted the most common mistakes that brands make on social media and how to avoid them.

 

1. INCONSISTENT POSTING:

When it comes to social media marketing, consistency is key. Similar to traditional marketing efforts brands still need 6-8 touch points on social media in order to convert their prospective customers. It is therefore important to share regular updates that help build brand awareness and trust – so that when your customer is ready to buy, your product or brand is top of mind.

 

2. POOR QUALITY CONTENT:

Social media is all about snap judgments and just like in real-life first impressions matter. Before a customer will buy from you, they will do some product research. Whether that is checking out your catalog, website, or social media pages. If you content is badly sized, not legible on mobile, pixelated, or blurry it will leave a negative impression. Business owners spend a lot of time making sure that their in-store experience is positive, but often forget that the same principles and attention to detail is required for their online presence.

 

3. ADDING NO VALUE:

There is nothing more annoying than brands that take, take and take. When building an online brand it is important that business’s focus on a healthy value exchange. Content shared on social media should add value to both the customer and business. Successful brands keep their audience updated and engaged with valuable content.

 

4. OBSESSING OVER PAGE FOLLOWERS:

Historically having a large audience allowed you to share regular updates with customers who have opted to follow and hear from your business. Unfortunately, as the platforms have evolved organic reach drastically decreased and social media now is a pay to play platform. Page followers have become a vanity metric. Having a large audience makes you look good, but contributes very little to your overall marketing success, because you are no longer able to speak to them.

 

5. NOT RESPONDING TO QUESTIONS, QUERIES AND COMPLAINTS:

You would not turn your back on a customer in real-life, so why do it online? We are always shocked to see how many customer questions go unanswered. Customers are the life force of any business, without them there is no business. It is important that brands respond to customer questions, queries and complaints timeously.

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 

Post a lot of social media content for business success. [FALSE]

Post a lot of social media content for business success. [FALSE]

We get this too often, a new client brief asking for 3 posts per day per platform and generally the brief is asking for at least three platforms. We hear you, social media is about being social, it about engaging, it’s fast paced. Live fast die young – with reference to social media posts that is.

 

The reality is that people don’t unfollow brands who don’t post. They unfollow brands who post too much.

 

If you were to post three social media updates per day, across three platforms, that’s nine posts per day. That makes 63 posts a week (including weekends) and a staggering 270 individual social media posts every month. Keep in mind that ideally all of these should be well-thought-out valuable pieces; is there even that many things to say in a month? There are exceptions in the case of media houses or publicists where it is part of their brand mandate to provide ongoing, updated news and content. Oh and of course influencers who mostly document their daily lives.

 

The key focus is value. Quality over quantity, meaning less really is more. It is realistically impractical for brands to post this amount of social media content when considering the cost implication of designing, uploading and promoting all of these posts. Time is money and putting out such a vast amount of content requires a lot of resources that most businesses don’t have access to. Ideally, we are all about getting as much bang for your buck by being razor focused with the content in making sure that every post is contributing toward driving strategic business value. Content should be designed to align with over-arching marketing strategies and business objectives while also not spreading the brand too thin by trying to be everything to everyone on every platform. Decide on key messaging and then direct these posts through the channels where your customers are more likely to be and where they prefer to engage with your brand. Social media at the end of the day is about the user, not about the brand – think about how you use the platforms.

 

We have proven success with as little as 2 posts per month for some of the brands we work with. If you find yourself being overwhelmed with working out what to post next on social media, reach out to us and let us support you with a best fit strategy.

 

CLICK HERE to contact us.

Social media can’t drive sales. [FALSE]

Social media can’t drive sales. [FALSE]

Effectively the fundamental function of any advertising, be it on social media or other mediums, is to drive brand awareness. By virtue of people being aware of the brand, it is more likely that sales will happen. It’s like having the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it then no one is going to buy it. Rightly so, a mediocre competitive product might just gain more sales thanks to a great marketing plan, and even so just by pure brand awareness.

 

Marketing and PR are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the functionality of a well-executed social media campaign with brand awareness often-times being the start of the sales funnel.

 

Ultimately, every business wants to drive sales and in all cases potential clients require between 6 and 8 brand touch points in order to gain trust and convert to a paying customer. Social media is not the silver bullet in speeding up a sales cycle or marketing campaign, however with multiple touch points, digital strategies allow for a more organic sales cycle as opposed to a linear process, meaning that potential clients at any point within their journey could slot into your sales cycle.

 

With this in mind, sales is not always the only measure of success and it is key for businesses to identify where within their customer journey there are areas where they can drive conversion.

 

Social media has the ability to underpin and support the entire customer journey and with the added benefit and ability of razor focused targeting, your brand is able to speak to the right person at the right time with the right message.

 

A data footprint is collected online and everything can be tracked from impressions, to clicks to conversions making social media the best way to measure success of campaigns, it really comes down to what the objective is.

 

Whatever your business objective whether that growth, maintain or sustain sales we are able to assist with a tailored digital solution to support this. 

 

CLICK HERE to contact us.

 

 

 

 

My client isn’t on social media. [FALSE]

My client isn’t on social media. [FALSE]

There is a fair chance that that statement is true and that your client isn’t on social media. We agree, social media isn’t always the silver bullet and is not in every case the answer to all marketing woes. We also understand that there is a good portion of the population that aren’t enslaved by their phones, chasing likes and trawling through feeds. 

With that said, we also cannot ignore the absolutely stunning statistics that could favour the fact that your client might very well be on social media. Let’s break it down.

Currently, there are 57,82 million South Africans, alive and living in our beautiful country. Of those 57 odd Million people, an impressive 37,49 million of them are active internet users. This means that around 65% of the population trawls the internet to one degree or another.

Furthermore there are currently 19,69 million active social media users in South Africa meaning that approximately one in three people have a social media account and are actively checking back, posting and updating their profiles.

To that point, it is also important to note that currently there are 17,04 million South Africans who are under the age of 14. This is relevant since according to Facebook, users are only legally allowed to have a Facebook profile once they turn 13. We could assume then that roughly a third of our population isn’t on social media since they are too young and therefore giving better odds to your client contributing to the 19 odd Million who are active on social media.

Data can be used to measure statistics and probability of success, however with these numbers in favour of the internet and social media it is fair to say that at least one person per household is actively posting to their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram account.

With innovative strategies you can reach you can reach your ideal customer.

If you are interested in talking more on this, feel free to reach out. We would be delighted to hear from you and strategise how we can find your ideal client via social media. Get in touch with Social Media 101 CLICK HERE.