What the latest South African social media figures reveal

What the latest South African social media figures reveal

 The results of the social media statistics which were recently released at the Social Media Landscape Briefing 2018 in Johannesburg, reveal some expected and not so expected results.

As one might expect the general trend in South African social media is that it is growing and increasing in terms of usage and interaction each year. The figures are enlightening. There are 16 million Facebook users in South Africa. As Arthur Golstuck points out:

“We are quickly heading to a third of the population being on Facebook and, bearing in mind that under-13s are not supposed to be on Facebook, that means you probably have close to half of the eligible population being on Facebook.”(

These are significant findings for marketers and companies promoting their brands out there.

One of the important findings is the way that social media has become an essential part of developing brand strategies. In other words, more companies and businesses are using social media to promote their products and services. In  terms of the actual social networks that were being used by brands the following stand out:

“…96.6% of the brands use Facebook, while 89.7% use Twitter, and that 71.6% of the companies use both LinkedIn and Instagram.” (

Another significant finding is that most companies are spending on increasing amount on social media content as well as focusing more on  analysis and measuring the effect of their social media campaigns. This is important for a number of reasons; not least of which is that content is again been seen as an important component of any social media campaign. Good content is the foundation which provides the groundwork for promoting brands and products.

Here are some of the most important facts and figures from the report.

  • Twitter had 8 million users in South Africa in August this year, compared to 7.7 million in August 2016.
  • LinkedIn has 6.1 million users this year, compared to 5.5 million last year.
  • Instagram user numbers in South Africa grew by 8.5% this year, totaling 3.8 million users.
  • Engagement is increasing across all platforms.
  • Multimedia content is on the rise.
  • Social video networks like YouTube are becoming increasingly important.
  • Instant messaging platforms are becoming significant platforms for online marketing.


Mobile internet usage is also a factor to consider here, and ” Mobile Internet penetration in South Africa is set to rise to 77.8% by the end of 2021, from 52.3% in 2016…” (

This fact should be linked to the increase in social media as the symbiosis between mobile usage and social media activity is increasingly becoming more interdependent.




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