Study analyses how continent’s marketers are using social media

By our News Team | 2023

Researchers find that African marketers rely significantly more on social media as a marketing tool than their global counterparts.

Meltwater has published its State of Social Media for Africa 2023 study comparing local and global trends. According to the media monitoring and social listening company, this reveals that the importance of social media is increasing among organisations due to global economic uncertainty.

With brand awareness a priority, more than half of the survey respondents (52%) stated that economic uncertainty has made social media a more important channel for their organisation.

Social Media Strategy

Photo by Cottonbro Studio from Pexels

Of particular relevance to African marketers is the finding that, out of more than 170 countries surveyed globally by Meltwater, African countries rely significantly more on social media as a marketing tool (74%) than their counterparts in other regions (only 52%).

Most notably, WhatsApp usage in this region is 35% higher than the global average, emphasising how much this platform is used by businesses and marketers on the continent, versus their international colleagues.

Facebook still dominates in Africa

Looking at social media in general, the other channels that dominate the social landscape in Africa are Facebook (88%), Instagram (76%) and LinkedIn (74%). Twitter (67%) is close behind. In terms of growth, the use of TikTok is rapidly increasing (28%).

While social media marketing has different purposes, the survey results show that increasing brand awareness (81%) and brand engagement (60%) are top of the agenda across all sectors (B2B, B2C and NGOs). However, while the top two social media goals appear to be brand-related, only 23% of organisations use brand reputation as a key metric.

“While brand perception and brand awareness has always been integral, this trend seems to be increasing in 2023,” says Katherine McInnes, Head of Marketing for Africa at Meltwater.

“We still believe that marketing professionals will face similar challenges – such as lack of time or resources. However, social media is an exceptional tool for combating these challenges, which shows in the report. Investing in social media channels, particularly TikTok, is an effective method of creating a strong brand.”