At Platform 5 we’re always working hard to make sure we have our finger on the pulse of all things digital – it is, after all, our business. 

So, when We are Social released their Global Digital 2019 Trends, our creative team decided to get together to share some of our favourite insights from the report. Sitting around the boardroom table while we ate our lunch on an unseasonably balmy Wednesday in June, here are some of the key points we took from the findings.

Over 52% of internet users are using ad blockers

Is anyone listening? With over half of South Africa’s internet users actively blocking certain content, it’s never been harder to be heard in the growing din that is Social Media. So, how do we get our content seen and, more importantly, how do we get it seen by those who could actually be potential customers? People really, really don’t seem to want to see what we do, so the key takeout here is that we need to be working (and working hard!) to create the kind of content that our audiences are interested in engaging with. That means speaking to what they care about and making sure that we do our due diligence in ensuring that their voices are heard.

Video moves us

Engagement with video posts on Facebook is at 5.08% – which is more than double that of static posts on the same platform. We’ve known for a while that videos drive more engagement than their static counterparts, but the trend shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, if anything, the growth of Instagram and Facebook stories means that people are being conditioned to watch videos more attentively, and for longer times than in previous years. 

Interestingly, the second most visited website globally is YouTube, coming in just behind Google, which takes the top spot. However, while people spend an average of 9 minutes and 12 seconds on Google for each individual visit, YouTube has a much higher retention rate at an average of 21 minutes and 36 seconds per visit. Facebook comes in 3rd place with an average of 11 minutes and 44 seconds, with Twitter taking the 7th spot (9 minutes and 14 seconds) and Instagram comes in 10th (6 minutes and 25 seconds.) The key takeout from this? People love video.

Video moves with us

A whopping 87% of users watch videos on their mobiles – which means that, no matter where they go, customers are consuming video content. More smartphone users and faster data connections mean that mobile video continues to dominate on social channels, with 20% of the videos on Facebook now being ‘live’ and users spending three times longer watching this content compared to a saved video. 

The average South African spends 8 hours and 25 minutes using the internet every single day – which means that we have the potential to be reaching our customers for a third of their day. And because 50% of South Africans are mobile internet users, our chances to reach them are literally sitting there in the palm of their hands. Video is king, and, if it’s able to watched anywhere, then that’s even better.

We love to chat

Whatsapp has an impressive 1,5 million monthly active users globally and remains the top social messaging platform in South Africa. In fact, Whatsapp is the most active social media platform in South Africa overall – overtaking YouTube, Facebook, and Facebook Messenger. With 89% of internet users using mobile messengers, these stats represent an incredible opportunity to interact with customers right where they already are. People love to chat, and so we should be chatting with them. 

Social Media is still where it’s at

More than 360 million people came online for the first time during 2018 – that’s an average of more than a million new users each day, and 57% of the world’s population is now connected to the internet. So, what do they do when they’re online? They still head to Social Media. 45% of the world’s population are now Social Media users, which translates into an incredible 3.5 billion people. Never before has a platform had the ability to reach so many people so seamlessly, and so consistently, regardless of location. As Social Media marketers, we have a responsibility to use this power for good!

With the prolific growth of internet use, and the complementary growth of Social Media with it, there has never been a better time to embrace digital.