Image: Oresti Patricios, CEO of Ornico. (YouTube)
Image: Oresti Patricios, CEO of Ornico. (YouTube)
Image: Authur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx.
Image: Authur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx.

JOHANNESBURG - In a study called the SA Social Media Landscape 2018 conducted by Ornico and World Wide Worx, we see an in-depth analysis of each social media network in SA and how South Africans are responding towards each platform. 

Ornico is a brand intelligence organisation and World Wide Work a hi-tech market research consultancy and in their study it shows that social media use has intensified among South Africans during the past year. 

Facebook is now being used by 29% of the population. Facebook has increased by 14% since 2016, from 14 million to 16 million. Of these, 14 million were accessing the social network on mobile devices.

A big contributor to the increase was the growth in downloads of Facebook Lite, a low-intensity version of the Facebook app that some mobile operators allow to be used without data charges on their networks. The study showed that it was the 5th most downloaded app from the Google Play Store for Android phones in South Africa,.

WhatsApp Messenger came in at number 1 and Facebook Messenger was the 4th most downloaded. The Capitec app was a surprise entry into the list at 9th place , making it the most downloaded banking app for Android.

“These are great examples of how tools geared towards the dynamics of a market can make a difference in uptake and penetration,” says Oresti Patricios, CEO of Ornico.

Image: Authur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx.

“The staggering proportion of people accessing Facebook via mobile devices - no less than 87.5% - tells us that we can expect mobile to become the default home of social media,” says Patricios. 

Twitter continues to grow at a slow rate in SA. It is now used by 8 million users from 7.7 million in 2016.

“Twitter remains the social platform of choice for engaging in public discourse,” says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx.

“It is exactly half the size of Facebook, but its users get access to vastly more personalities, news sources and opinions, and can become opinion-makers themselves," says Goldstuck. 

There were two surprise trends in the survey:

The previously fastest growing app in South Africa, Instagram, has seen a slow growth while LinkedIn has maintained steady growth. 

Instagram is now used by 3.8 million South Africans, up from 3.5 million, while LinkedIn has increased from 5.5 million to 6.1 million.

The study included a survey of social media use by South Africa’s biggest brands, with 118 participants providing insights into their social media practices, strategies and results.

The survey found significant shifts in each of the platforms used by brands: 

Facebook is now almost pervasive, in use by 97% of brands, from 91% the year before. 

Twitter has increased marginally, from 88% to 90%

LinkedIn and Instagram continued their relentless rises, now both standing at 72%. and

YouTube has fallen slightly behind them, despite a marginal rise to 68%.

Declines were reported for Pinterest, Google+, WeChat, WhatsApp and SnapChat.

“The findings underline the lesson that widespread consumer takeup of a platform, as we have seen with WhatsApp in particular, does not lend itself readily to brands communicating with those consumers,” says Patricios.

A similar picture emerged when brands were asked whether they advertised on social media:  

Facebook is by far the most popular for advertising, at 86% of brands, 

Twitter is a distant 2nd at 45%, Instagram third at 40% and LinkedIn comes in 4th on 35%.

“It is noteworthy that most advertisers believe they see a return on investment when they advertise on social media,” says Goldstuck.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE