Social media has changed the way South Africans use the internet. While the likes of Facebook and Twitter were initially slow on the uptake in the country, the past several years have seen a shift in how people use the platforms. So how does this impact a digital marketing plan?
According to the most recent figures from World Wide Worx, there are approximately 13-million active South African Facebook users, 7.4-million Twitter users, 8.28-million YouTube users, and 2.68-million Instagram users. And just to clarify, an active user is defined as someone who has used their profile at least once in a 30-day period.
While this might seem like a low percentage in comparison to the number of people in South Africa (55-million odd), the figures are growing significantly on an annual basis. This means that social is no longer something organisations can choose to ignore when it comes time to build their brands and to engage with their customers.
Similarly, social is no longer just a business-to-consumer enclave. Many companies are using these platforms to strengthen their partner relationships and even drive marketing around business-to-business activities.
And while social has become a must-have component to any organisational (and digital) strategy, it is not a case of just rushing in and creating profiles on every platform imaginable. Trying to use every platform to your advantage could be a massive mistake. Instead, target one or two of the most relevant networks to your brand based on the number of people using it and how they translate into existing and potential customers. For example, Instagram might be the fastest-growing social network in South Africa but should you really create an account if you sell funeral policies?
Secondly, with 10 million South Africans using their smartphones to access social networks, mobile needs to form a fundamental component to your digital strategy. In fact, mobile is the golden thread tying all South African digital marketing activities together. Without it, you might as well not even do digital marketing.
So, bear screen size and data constraints in mind when shooting that 4K video promoting your brand. South Africans appreciate content more than quality and are generally more forgiving than their international counterparts when it comes to watching HD versus SD videos. Plus, you are saving them a fair dollop of money on data costs for those not able to use a WiFi network or home internet access.
Remember, 2017 brings with it an abundance of opportunities to link social to digital. But never forget underpinning everything, is a solid strategic approach.
Have a wonderful and safe festive season. Thank you for all the support this year. We will be back in January with even more fascinating insights on the digital journey.
We’re here to help you succeed, and would love to answer any questions you might have so, should you need any assistance with your digital marketing for 2017, please contact us here.