Social Media Landscape or 2017 & Biggest Shifts in Social Media Trends in South Africa

Ceri James & Jessica McEndoo of BlueMagnet discuss the biggest shifts in Social Media in South Africa over the past 3 years and provide valuable tips and insights into the Social Media Landscape and predictions for 2017.

Watch the video or read the insights below.

Biggest shifts over the past 3 years in South Africa for Social Media

Social media communication has seen a drastic change and brands can’t afford to be silent. We used to tell our message, the days when we said like our post or Follow Friday in the early days moved to campaigning. Now in 2016 Engagement has over taken and we often work with brands to research and understand through social analysis where their audiences actually are and what they care about. It is no longer B2C it is P2P.

Brands are sitting up and becoming involved in 2015 it took brands 7 hours to respond on Facebook and this year the average time dropped to 2.1 hours.

Average response time on social media

Every marketer knows about the push and pull of agency vs in house, I know social media and the tools better vs I know the brand better. In 2014 outsourcing had dropped from 27% to 13%. Then in 2015 outsourcing jumped back up to 17% and only 54% of the top brands in SA were investing in upskilling their own marketing teams. We saw a huge difference in our social media courses this year as the investment by the top companies in their own resources jumped to 64%. We held more lectures on our social media for business and the attendees were not just marketing managers but CEO’s and IT managers who are now understanding the importance of social media as an integral part of their communication strategy and business.

The biggest change was the arrival of the millennial.

They are your new employee, new colleague and new customer. Big brands are feeling lost, they feel effective on the likes of Facebook but the new customer is not there. A scary stat is that LinkedIn had the same growth YoY and someone joins the platform every 2 seconds, the top companies in SA believe that they are not effective on the platform. It is not top management but the actual social media managers that think that LinkedIn is “boring”. The younger generation see LinkedIn as a key tool to advance themselves and they want to improve. So why are brands ignoring the potential? We do consulting with forward thinking brands who realise that this is an opportunity to own this space and they are investing time and resources into making it work for their brand and business objectives.

LinkedIn Becoming Valuable Tool for Mellinials

Top 3 predictions for 2017

Clever brands are going to be more strategic through understanding their data to have meaningful connections. When we do a social media audit we help brands understand “where the disconnect is” and we work with them to start thinking differently about the social ecosystem.

The world is mobile, your customers are mobile. 85% of the 14 million South African Facebook users (which is just over a quarter of the entire population) use FB on their mobile every day, understanding this data will lead to better content strategies that fit the everyday of the consumer.

It is expected that in 2017, due to the rapid increase of engagement that the investment by top brands to up-skill their teams in social media will increase to 77%.

Everyone will be creating content and Social media will be the responsibility of every department, we live in an age of influence where one person has the power to break a brand. Social media will not live in the marketing department only, it will belong to your call centre agents, HR managers, IT department etc. and there will be more brands looking for customised training for their business because there will no longer be the excuse of “I didn’t know”. We’ve seen a big uptake in consulting and brainstorming with every department as well as training and putting policies in place to protect businesses and the employee which is our focus for next year.

Marketing managers and brands will need to step up. Understand their data and realise that they need to change their mind-set, the old rules will no longer apply.

DigitalNatives (those who were born with an iPad in their hands) work on a “what’s in it for me” – understanding your data allows for hyper localised content which enables communities and sharing of ideas (UGC). The only way to do this is for brands to invest in:

a. Researching and auditing their social
b. Bedding down a clear social media strategy
c. Understanding and using their data more effectively
d. Having the right message at the right time (quality over quantity)

Through this they can become niche, resonate authenticity, engage and keep interest. 2017 will be all about carefully crafted content and business fluidity.

Read the full article and download the infographic on the South African Social Media Landscape 2017.

To learn more about Social Media, register for one of our upcoming Social Media & Content Marketing courses.

Contact us for assistance with your Social Media strategy or to commission an Social Media Audit on your website.

BlueMagnet is a digital marketing consultancy and training company specialising in performance based digital marketing. BlueManget specialises in Research, Strategy SEO, Social Media, Content and Paid media.