MELTWATER, the world’s first online media monitoring company, has launched the State of Social Media for Africa 2023 comparing local and global trends, which revealed the importance of social media is increasing among organisations due to global economic uncertainty.
With brand awareness as a priority, more than half of the survey respondents (52 percent) stated that economic uncertainty has made social media a more important channel for their organisation.
The rise of TikTok
While Facebook remains the most used social media platform for organisations, in terms of growth, the use of TikTok is rapidly increasing (30 percent vs. 16 percent last year). Additionally, 47 percent of respondents stated that they are planning to use TikTok in 2023. This statistic remained consistent at 46.98 percent when looking specifically at respondents in Africa.
‘With current uncertainty in the economic climate, many brands are embracing innovation to get more from their marketing budgets. A thoughtful social media strategy allows marketers to gain and retain customer attention in a way that is highly efficient, cost-effective, and measurable. We’re not surprised to see that respondents are looking to increase their brand awareness using these tools.’ says Lays Bammesberger, enterprise account executive of the Swedish-based company.
Five channels dominated the social landscape in Africa. Facebook (88 percent), Instagram (76 percent) and LinkedIn (74 percent) are top, with Twitter (67 percent) and WhatsApp (58 percent) close behind. In terms of growth, the use of TikTok is rapidly increasing (28 percent). Most notably, WhatsApp usage in this region is 35 percent higher than the global average. Out of more than 170 countries surveyed, the report found that African countries rely more on social media as a marketing tool (74 percent) compared to the overall results of other regions (52 percent).
Creating strong brands
‘While brand perception and brand awareness has always been integral, this trend seems to be increasing in 2023. We still believe that marketing professionals will face similar challenges such as lack of time or resources; however, social media is an exceptional tool for combating these challenges, which shows in the report. Investing in social media channels, particularly TikTok, is an effective method of creating a strong brand.’ stated Katherine McInnes, head of marketing, Africa.
While social media marketing has different purposes, the survey results have shown that increasing brand awareness (81 percent) and brand engagement (60 percent) are top of the agenda across all sectors (B2B, B2C & NGOs). However, while the top two social media goals appear to be brand-related, only 23 percent of organisations use brand reputation as a key metric.
In short, social media has proven itself to be an inevitable ingredient in the communication mix for organisations, irrespective of the field they operate in, and is only growing in importance during times of turbulence and uncertainties.