SA Social Media Landscape 2017
In 2017, social media will become an indispensable tool for South African marketers and politicians, artists and activists, reporters and media personalities alike.
According to the 2017 edition of the SA Social Media Landscape, released this week by World Wide Worx and Ornico, the next year will see the use of as many as four social media platforms becoming pervasive marketing tools in South Africa. The study included a survey of 116 major SA brands, making for a representative sample of the countrys major brands.
Already, in 2016, 91% of these brands were using Facebook, 88% were active on Twitter, and 66% were on YouTube. LinkedIn slipped from 70% to 63%, as brands struggled to get to grips with its more serious nature. Instagram increased sharply from 42% to 62%.
When asked what additional platforms they would embrace in 2017, no less than 26% of brands said they would use Instagram, while YouTube was set to attract a further 16%. This will see the image-sharing and video-sharing networks join the top table currently occupied by Facebook and Twitter.
On a consumer level, growth for most networks has slowed down, but engagement by users has intensified. In 2016, no single social network has redefined the social landscape, in the way that Instagram and YouTube did in the previous two years.
Nevertheless, says World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck, social media is not waning: The fact that Instagram continued to grow at a high rate by 32% up to 3.5m users and that YouTube has seen a massive increase in engagement with brands, confirms that the social media is hardly stagnating. Rather, it is maturing into a more stable and measurable environment that can be leveraged more effectively by brands.
Fourteen million users
Facebook is now used by 14m South Africans, while YouTube has moved firmly into second place with 8.74m users, well outpacing Twitters slower rise to 7.7m. LinkedIn maintains its energetic rise, now standing at 5.5m.
One of the most significant trends uncovered is that Facebook, with 14m users, now has 10m, or 85% of its users, using mobile devices. This is significantly up from or 77% the year before. While a significant number of these users are also accessing Facebook on computers and tablets, it is clear that the mobile phone has become the primary form of accessing social media.