The latest Digital 2020 statshot – a review of social media trends for the last 3 months to September 2020 – was published on 20 October.
I went through this latest edition with anticipation, as I have done starting with the January 2019 annual report that led to the first eNsight in this series.
In this eNsight, I share the 7 most valuable lessons from the latest Digital Report, which brands can use in their ongoing efforts to leverage the social media channel.
Table of Contents
1. Soon, every Internet user will be on social media as well
Graphs 1 and 2, which were extracted from the latest Digital Report, show Internet and social media penetrations and growths.
As at September 2020, the difference between Internet users and number of active social media users (Graph 1) is 520 million, and the difference in penetration is 7%.
In simpler terms – for every 100 Internet users, 90 are active on social media.
However, the growth of active social media users is almost 5% higher than that of Internet users (Graph 2).
What about growth trends of Internet and social media in the recent past?
Curious about the difference in growths, I plotted a graph of Internet and social media users dating back to the Digital 2018 Report.
See the results in Graph 3 below.
What is clear from Graph 3 is that number of social media users has been growing ahead of Internet users, and the growth averages over the last 6 periods have been 10% and 8% respectively.
Will social media numbers ever catch up with Internet numbers?
To answer this question, I used the established growth averages over the previous 6 periods to project into the future.
See the projections results in Graph 4.
At the projected 10% and 8% growths of social media and Internet users, the penetration gap will be closed by year 5.
Did you know there are countries where social media penetration is already near or over 100%?
Implications for your brand?
2. Netizens have multiple social network accounts, which necessitates omnichannel communication approach
Graph 6 shows that an average netizen is registered on multiple social networks.
Brands interact with the same consumers on more than one social network.
Thus, omnichannel communication approach is the best option, in an effort to optimise multiple touch points while maintaining the same brand message.
3. Social networks overlap, but with varying strengths
With an average of 8.3 accounts per social networker (Graph 6), which platforms share the most numbers of users?
Table 1 answers the question.
Table 1 shows that social networks with the highest overlaps are Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok overall.
Brands need to be most active on the social networks that have the highest propensity to share their consumers.
This lesson is to be read together with Lesson 2.
4. 4 in 10 netizens use social media for researching brands
Social media is a key platform for sourcing brand information.
If you do not actively publish content about your brand on social media, you are missing out on leveraging the influence of this channel as a source of information.
5. Social networks have age and gender skews
In Table 2, I extracted data from the latest Digital 2020 Report and plotted contributions by the 2 main genders and the dominating age groups across the six main social networks.
Green highlights in Table 2 denote largest contribution by gender and/or age group for each social network.
- Users for Facebook, LinkedIn and especially Twitter are male.
- Users for Snapchat and especially Pinterest are female.
- Users for Instagram are marginally female.
- The most dominant social media age group is 25-34.
The exception is Snapchat, with the 18-24 age group leading on this social network.
Another exception worth mentioning is the contribution to Twitter by males who are 35-49 years old, which age group is not included in the table above because it is a small contributor to the overall social media universe, but it is the second highest contributor to this microblog with just under 21%.
All the major social networks have gender and age group skews.
Does your brand have gender and/or age skews?
Then, take note of the findings above.
6. Working remotely is suited to younger netizens
Working remotely becomes a painless process when employees are already adept at using the associated communication and collaboration tools.
So what are the age group skews for the associated remote working tools?
Tap on the image gallery below to see pop-outs of 5 such digital tools, and see how the different age groups fair in their usage.
Younger employees are already used to the communication tools that make remote working possible.
Older employees potentially do not enjoy working remotely due to the need to up-skill in the use of required enabling digital tools at the same as they are expected to maintain required productive levels.
Add to the above the current stress of the threat of jobs for some, health worries related to COVID-19, concerns about family welfare, and everything in-between.
7. There is an inverse relationship between Facebook page size and engagement rate
Has your page’s fan base been growing in leaps and bounds?
Have you been noticing declines in your post engagement rate at the same time?
There is an answer.
The larger a Facebook page is, the lower its engagement rate, as Graph 13 shows.
This is also the case for Instagram and Twitter.
Quality of connections deteriorates with the growing size of social media communities.
My closing thought
It is not good enough to track social media trends based on past performance.
Brands must also use some of the key trends to come up with projections that will give them a head start in their social media marketing plans.