Social Media Marketing – Winners, Up-and-Comers and the Overrated

Updated on 16 April 2018

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Jandre de Beer is a Digital Marketer and Owner of V8 Media

When it comes to the online arena, the South African market has always tended to trail the likes of Europe and the USA, but in recent years, South Africans have not only become more and more computer literate, but with smartphones reaching the hands of more people, access to the internet has become more widespread; and no platform has a bigger interaction than social media.

Worldwide statistics have shown significant growth among most social media platforms in 2017, but being a small country at the tip of Africa, we do not often get to see how these numbers are growing on a local front.

According to statistics from the last quarter of 2017, the average South African spends between 2-3 hours on social media per day, and understandably so with platforms like Facebook making sure that their algorithms are set to bring their users more relevant content than ever before.

Not only are people catching up with their friend’s lives, but they are also getting their entertainment fill and even local news. Having the ability to provide user-specific content allows Facebook to keep its users engaged and on its platform.

What this means for the advertiser is that your content will be seen by the right target market, in the right LSM, and the right area; all of which will lead to a greater chance of brand promotion and sales conversion, and best of all, it is generally at a fraction of the cost to traditional means of marketing.

The Top 5 Statistics

While South Africans are engaging with more and more social media and content-based platforms, the Top 5 remain as follows: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Up And Coming Platforms

One of the fastest-growing platforms is a site called Quora which is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited, and organized by its community of users. There are mechanisms in place to rate the accuracy of information given in answers to ensure that it is precise and correct.

One of the reasons for the popularity of the site is that users can ask a question which will engage a direct answer. Some may say that this is similar to Google, but Google works by scouring the internet for the keywords referenced in your search criteria and finding content which contains said keywords, however, this isn’t always exactly what the user is looking for.


In January of 2018, Quora saw 221 300 000 worldwide users visit the site with a South African visitation of 1 903 180, or 0.86 percent. As you can see, the South African percentage of users is much higher when compared to most other platforms, but in terms of numbers, it still has a fair way to go before catching the Top 3 social media platforms.

Currently Overrated Platforms

While markets can change in a matter of months, one of the potentially overrated platforms at present is Snapchat. While most people tend to think that the platform is on the rise and maybe the next big thing, statistics show that Snapchat isn’t performing as well as expected.


Snapchat is trailing platforms like Tumblr and Reddit with only 60 870 000 worldwide users, with only 127 827 (0.21%) of those being South African.

The Snapchat team is working hard to make the platform more user-friendly and include more features aimed at engaging a larger market sector, so let’s see if they manage to turn things around.

With the development of social media platforms to include more and more user-related content, social media platform numbers, engagement and time spent on said platforms are increasing. Couple that with more and more South Africans becoming computer literate and having access to the internet, it is no wonder many companies are shifting their marketing budgets from traditional means to the digital realm.

To ensure the complete success of your digital marketing campaigns, it is not only important to stay on top of what platforms are performing on a user number basis but also to make use of platforms which are showing the best ROI and learn how to use them to their best potential.


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