A Review of Social Media Statistics in 2015

See also:

The State of Social Media in South Africa 2012
The State of Social Media in South Africa 2013
The State of Social Media in South Africa 2014

Releasing trends and research for social media in South Africa gathered from the top 105 SA brands and agencies providing valuable local insights and stats. Every September everyone “in the know” waits with baited breathe to see the social media stats presented by Arthur Goldstuck and Mike Wronski and to discuss the coming local trends to keep South African business ahead of the competition.

South African social media stats saw a healthy increase year on year, from the results shared in September 2015. Instagram saw the largest growth where they jumped from 680,000 users in 2013 to 2,68 million users in 2015!

Social Media Stats 2015

YouTube in South Africa – The age of micro video

During the YouTube and Instagram panel discussion the consensus was that the “concept of video is changing social media”. With Instagram sporting a Klout Score of a whopping 99%, early adopters of the platform would be enabled to leapfrog to the mass market. YouTube however has reached a level of maturity and is saturated in the market at 8,2 million South African users and only experienced a growth of 15% vs Instagram’s growth of 133% from September 2014 to September 2015. Of the top 105 brands only 60% stated that they are active on the platform.

1st place of the “Top globally viewed South Africans on YouTube” went to Kruger Sightings @ 220,390,014 views. Kruger National Park’s YouTube channel came in 7th place with only 7% of the Kruger Sightings views.  This sparked debate where industry experts agreed that viewers were more interested in the video content than the “owner of the channel”. The top 100 South African YouTube channels were all started between 2010 and 2011, so brands who started after that will need to invest in pre-rolls to get likes.

Twitter users in South Africa – SA is still chirping

Even though the platform saw a slow growth, Twitter users are still logging in, in massive numbers every day. 2014 saw the platform gain another 1, 1 million new users looking for a voice or wanting to know “what’s happening”. That may seem like a lot however from 2012 to 2013 the Twitter user base in South Africa more than doubled.

The experts agreed that Twitter needs to be seen as “broadcast messaging”. Why not broadcast to 7, 4 million active Twitter users? 87% of the Top 105 SA brands stated that they use Twitter, however 13% of those companies believe that they are “very effective”.
The 2 top Tweets by South Africans up until September 2015 went to @Trevornoah and @chapstickru respectively;

  1. No-one can replace Jon Stewart. The Daily Show @Trevornoah [16031 Retweets]
  2. Hey DrWalter Palmer… Here’s a thought… ***** #CecilTheLion [Retweets 7,907]

LinkedIn Stats – South African social media user grow up

LinkedIn users saw a growth of 20% from 2014 to 2015 with the Top 105 South African brands stating that of the 70% of companies using the platform another 22% would be looking to invest in the business social media network, which will out surpass the 91% of businesses on Facebook by September 2016. South Africa boasted 4, 6 million active LinkedIn users, that is 1, 2% of the global 380 Million users. Of the global users only 300 were active users i.e. they log in every day, 41% are between the ages of 16 – 24 years old.

The 2 impertinent questions for brands really revolves around;

  1. How you use LinkedIn
  2. ow well you use it

Looking beyond your CV and at Africa as a whole, LinkedIn fell just short of 20 million active users by September 2015 of which South Africa was 24,4% of that user base. Group Online Manager of Sasol, MJ Khan stated that 60% of LinkedIn users are approachable, that means that as of September 2015 there were 2,76 Million South Africans open to moving to another job!

What does this mean for South African business?

  • • Passive: 20% of South African LinkedIn members did not want to move.
    • Active: 20% of the local LinkedIn members were committed Job seekers
    • Approachable: 60% made up as follows;

    • 15% were listed as “tip toes” i.e. you could ask if they were available
    • The majority, 45% listed as “explorers” would be happy to be approached

The scary thing was that of the Top 105 SA brands and agencies using LinkedIn nearly 30% believed that they are ineffective / not effective on LinkedIn.

Facebook users – South Africans are not leaving Facebook

It was highlighted that while South African Journalists are losing interest in Facebook, the platform has seen 8% growth and is about to become more powerful. Facebook highlighted their 10 year strategy and for the 1st time in South African history, September saw a shift in gender to 50, 5% male vs 49,5% female. With a staggering 13 million active users on Facebook of which 1 million are of the age 13 – 18, 96 of the Top 105 SA brands are using the platform to reach their desired audiences. An interesting social media stat came out surrounding the landscape / split of the Facebook fan base in that; 53% of the base is Johannesburg based: Johannesburg has effectively “flat lined” in growth year on year.

The biggest risers, which surprised everyone at the social media statistics results event was that the biggest growth in Facebook South Africa was seen in;

  • Port Elizabeth
  • Bloemfontein
  • East London
  • Nelspruit

10 million South African Facebook users access their accounts from their mobile device on a daily basis of which 79% are using a smartphone. The top operating system was Android at a staggering 5, 8 Million followed by (shock horror) Blackberry at 1, 9 Million. That means that the BlackBerry OS actually came ahead of iOS. Big on the agenda was Facebooks joint venture with intenet.org where they stated they are “looking to connect the next Billion”. Facebook broadcasting is reaching saturation, so the project (based in Africa and India) will look to connect the un-connected through the use of drones!

Social Media Stats 2016

The next release of the stats for South Africa is due to be held September 2016. Since last September Facebook does not seem to have grown from its 13 Million, proving the “saturation” finding. However as of May 2016 LinkedIn increased by 19,1% in just 8 months to 5,48 Million and 30% of those users are attributed to Johannesburg.

We will continually monitor industry trends to ensure ROI, speak to us to make your brand cut through the social clutter to make history and not end up as a statistic. Should you require any assistance with your social media strategy, speak to one of our consultants today.

Author: Jessica McEndoo, Head of Social Media at BlueMagnet