Social Media in the Mobile Era

November 2015

    I recently presented the South African Social Media Landscape 2015 Report at the ITWeb Social Business Summit and the research demonstrated some pretty interesting trends.

    As a result of the rise of technology and Internet access, South Africa’s trends in incorporating social media in corporate environments, are not far behind those of the United States and the rest of the developed world.

    Most notably, however, are the advances that South Africa continues to make when it comes to mobile technology, with local advances often eclipsing those witnessed in the US.

    Additionally, the report also highlights how the increased adoption of largely mobile visual platforms such as Instagram, which experienced over 100% growth in the 12 months, have been fueled by cheaper data costs, free Wi-Fi and cheaper smartphones.

    According to the report, Facebook has also continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace than its photo sharing subsidiary, growing by 10% year on year with 13 million South Africans now on the platform and 77% of them logging on using their mobile devices, continuing the strong mobile theme.

    Smartphones are being used by 7.9 million South African Facebook users with 1.9 million using basic feature phones to log onto the service.

    The past four years has also seen a notable increase in video content and most branded content on platforms like Twitter also being supplemented by images.

    They key thing for brands, is for them to recognise the vital role that visual media has always play, even before the Internet. The difference now, is that social media is largely the domain of consumers, and TV-style advertising is nearing obsoletion.

    The challenge for brands will be to leverage the power of social media influencers and co-create content in order to grow their communities.

    When it comes to the adoption of Snapchat in South Africa, the young generation is quickly adopting these new platforms, and local interest has increased dramatically in the last two years, even though exact numbers have not yet been confirmed. Snapchat fills the need of ephemeral messaging, as people have realized that not all content needs to last forever.”

    As use of mobile devices continues to increase, instant messaging platforms will be the future of CRM, as Standard Bank has shown using WeChat to communicate with its customers 24/7.

    Michal Wronski, Business Development Manager  at Ornica Group