While it’s a well-known fact that social media is now playing a more pivotal role in every stage of the consumer journey, the real question is ‘why?’
With almost four in 10 Internet users following their favorite brands on social media, a quarter of whom are following brands from which they’re thinking of making a purchase, the opportunities to engage consumers on a more personal level are immense.
Social media marketing has more potential than ever – so how to get it right?
The social question
The influence of social networking is transforming how we communicate, dramatically reshaping the online purchase journey – impacting how consumers research and compare products, and interact with brands.
This presents marketers with both an opportunity and a challenge.
A report by GlobalWebIndex on the latest trends in social media examines how much time per day are digital consumers devoting to social, how are the behaviors of social media users changing, which social platforms are most popular (among the total online population and key audiences), and how are consumers using social media to engage with brands?
The role that social media plays in the lives of its users has evolved. Digital consumers are now almost as likely to say they use social to follow the news as they are to identify it as a platform for keeping in touch with friends (40% vs 41%).
In the Middle East & Africa, the average number of social media accounts held by Internet users is 7.9, ahead of North America (6.6). Latin America tops the list with the average number of social media accounts held by Internet users amounting to 9.1, the GlobalWebIndex study finds.
The findings further reveal that 98% of digital consumers are social media users, showing how in virtually all demographics and markets, being an Internet user means being a social media user.
Also, the daily time spent on social media is rising, now standing at around 2 hours and 15 minutes per day. This means 1 in every 3 minutes online is spent on social media.
Further, 16-24s devote the longest periods of their days to social media, with Latin America and the Middle East and Africa having the highest daily times from a regional perspective.
The New Consumer Journey
For marketers, these social usage data hold immense importance, since once they know where their audience is, producing relevant content is the key to engagement.
Marketers are growing increasingly aware of the value that lies in dissecting the micro-moments (those exact moments when a person accesses a device with specific intent to either learn something, do something or buy something).
Brands can capitalize on this acute consumer interest by delivering the right content at the right time on the right channel, the GlobalWebIndex study notes.