Yesterday, Mike Wronski from Fuseware and Arthur Goldstuck from World Wide Worx introduced their findings from the soon to be released Social Media Landscape 2015 to Johannesburg’s digital community.

The actual report will be released in the coming weeks but the conference broke down the key points on how social media has been functioning in South Africa over the past year. The findings are both fascinating, as well as in line with the thinking that local digital fundis have started exploring.

So we thought we’d gather up some of our highlights for you in a nice condensed and easy to digest format.

 

The Social Networks doing well:

• 9 out of 10 of SA’s top brands are on both Facebook and Twitter.

• Facebook is still the most effective social network for brands, with 60% of brands stating an effective presence.

• Twitter has 7.4 million SA users, which is a 14% growth from 6.6 million users in 2014.

• Corporate blogs have seen a resurgence in popularity with viewers

• LinkedIn and Instagram are growing. LinkedIn is only now starting to be used well by SA companies.

• Instagram is the fastest growing network in SA, having seen an amazing 133% increase in growth from last year, with 2.68 million active monthly users.

 

The Social Network not doing well:

• Pinterest accounts have declined from 910K accounts to 840K over the past year, a 17% drop.

 

What can we expect to see brands doing in the next 12 months?

 

Big topics coming out of the conference where the value of quality content over simply using social media as an advertising medium, as well as the increased popularity of influencer marketing, with more than half of SA’s brands using online influencers. Another insight was the fact that the biggest spend in the next year is looking to go on social analytics, to enable brands to streamline processes and allow relationships to scale.


There was also much discussion about how each platform should be used optimally – basically how brands’ audiences are using them, and if brands listen to their audience, then they can start creating the right content per platform to properly speak to their audiences.

YouTube:

• This is the second largest social network in SA, but people hardly engage with brands on it.

• The simple fact is that the audience doesn’t look for brands on YouTube, they search interests.

 

Instagram:

• The brands doing well on Instagram understand the need to be authentic

• Audiences are looking for a behind-the-scenes, voyeuristic view into brands, make them feel like they are getting special content that people don’t normally see

 

LinkedIn:

• Most users are looking for new jobs, few are looking for more content than that

 

Facebook:

• Most brands feel they have an effective presence on Facebook

• Over posting is creating a lack of quality, engaging content though

 

Twitter:

• Platform has become oversaturated by brand content, resulting in lower engagement with brands, despite growth in users

• Brands need to speak to interests in order to be heard again

 

And at the end of the day, the main lesson for brands from the past year was…