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The new face of social media

social media

There is no doubt that social platforms continue to grow at an exponential pace. According to the Hootsuite/We are Social, Digital 2022 Global Overview Report, there are 4.62 billion active social media users worldwide – that’s 74.8% of the world’s population over the age of 13. And in the past year alone, 424 million new social media users were added.

In South Africa, 46.4% of the total population consists of active social media users. And they’re not just on one or two platforms – on average, South Africans use almost eight social platforms on a regular basis. It’s no wonder then, that the average amount of time that Internet users in South Africa aged 16 to 64 spend using social media every day is an astounding 3 hours 43 minutes (the fifth highest rate in the world!)

Before you assume that all these users are simply posting funny videos or pictures, consider the fact that 53.2% of global internet users aged 16-24 use social networks as a primary source of information when researching brands. This is in comparison with 51.3% who use search engines as a primary source (Hootsuite Social Media Trends Report 2022).

But the real clincher is that these users aren’t just using social platforms to research products they are interested in, they are purchasing via social channels too. In what McKinsey dubbed ‘the quickening’, e-commerce penetration surged at a higher rate in the first 90 days of the Covid-19 pandemic than it had in the entire previous decade. ‘Social commerce’ (purchasing via social platforms) is a rapidly growing segment of e-commerce and is projected to grow by 35.5% in China this year, according to eMarketer.

Another major trend within the social media space is a surge in the use of social channels for customer service purposes. Fed up with constantly being put on hold, customers have discovered that service delivered via social media is immediate, convenient and effective. According to Gartner, 60% of all customer service requests will be managed via digital channels by 2023. Customer service queries posted on social media platforms require a speedy response because they have a far broader audience than just the customer in question. If you attend to these matters quickly and efficiently, you may gain the approval and loyalty of more than just the initial customer who posted the query. However, the opposite is also true …

Are you thriving in the social space?

Given the expanding influence of social media, it’s vital that you gain exposure for your organisation or brand on a range of social channels. And it’s equally important to post the right content and images and to monitor your platforms vigilantly. If all of this sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry – ICSC can help.

Our digital media specialist plans, creates, posts and monitors content on a range of social platforms in collaboration with our social media clients. This allows them to enjoy the bonus of an engaged social media following without the associated stress. Give your social media offering the edge by contacting Jana today at or 072 763 6155.