2021 South Africa social media report published

A new report compiling data and insights on the South African social and wider media landscape has been published by research companies Ornico and World Wide Worx. The study analyses the overall scope of the South African media tech landscape, including a look at the impact of Covid-19 and the current state of privacy, consumer usage, and the commercial adoption of leading tech platforms. 

“The South African Social Media Landscape 2021 study, conducted after a full year of Covid-19 lockdowns, provides the most in-depth picture yet of the shifts in online behaviour brought about by the pandemic,” says Arthur Goldstuck, CEO of World Wide Worx, in introducing the report. “As everywhere in the world, South Africans have needed to take a new approach to staying connected while staying apart. The result was a surge in both online access and social media use.”

The report includes a survey of 24,000 respondents aged over 15 and over, which gives an overall view of consumer social media habits within the country. 

Additionally, a separate industry survey drills down into how key communications platforms are being used by businesses in the country, including some of the following insights: 

  • Over 90% of large businesses are currently active on Facebook, which also happens to be the most used social network by South African consumers over the last year.
  • Just under 50% of the brands surveyed are still spending under R10,000 per month (approx. US $685) on social media advertising, but just over 20% are spending R50,000 (approx. $3,400). 
  • Over three in four businesses reported seeing positive returns from social media usage, with only 1 in 20 reporting no returns from it. 
  • In terms of who is managing social media accounts for companies, 31.4% said this was the responsibility of marketing, 27.4% agency, 27.4% individuals, 3.2% PR team, and 10.6% other. 
  • 39.6% of brands said that they used paid social media influencers, up from 29.4% in last year’s survey.   
  • Overall, there was 59% increase in respondents saying that social media is an effective public relations channel and 123% increase in respondents saying that it lowers the cost of communication.

The study was unveiled by way of a webinar at the end of June, and you can download the full report here.


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