As we approach the half way mark in 2019, what social media trends are dominating the digital world? Market research company Global Web Index recently published a report providing insights on the world of social media, covering subjects including how much time is devoted to social media, the behaviours of social media users and which social media platforms are most popular. Here we outline a few of the key findings.
Who is using social media?
According to the Global Web Index Social Media Flagship report, 98% of digital consumers are social media users. Perhaps surprisingly, adoption is high even among the baby boomer generation with 94% of 55 to 64-year-olds using social platforms. Digital consumers have an average of 8.5 social media accounts, and tend to use each platform for different purposes.
How long do people spend on social media?
Globally, an average of two hours 22 minutes per day is spent on social networks and messaging, according to the report, although this figure has started to decrease in specific markets.
What do consumers use social media for?
As social networks have evolved into multi-media platforms, digital consumers are now as likely to use them for keeping up with the news as the are to stay in touch with friends, while 16 to 24-year-olds cite using social media to fill up spare time and find funny or entertaining content. Just over a fifth (22%) of digital consumers have liked or followed a brand on a social network in the past month, and more than four in 10 use social networks to research new brands or products. This makes social media the second-most important digital channel overall. In the 16 to 24 age bracket it is the most important.
Which is the most popular social media platform?
Facebook still dominates in terms of membership globally but falls behind YouTube in terms of weekly visitors. YouTube has fewer registered members, but has visitor rates that are seven percentage points higher than its membership. It’s the only major social service to find itself in this situation, and shows that significant numbers of its visitors are either not logged into their accounts, or not even members in the first place.
Which is the most popular social messaging service
Facebook Messenger has a five-point lead for membership but WhatsApp leads by five percentage points in terms of visitor rates, the Global Web Index report suggests. Snapchat comes in on a distant third, though this service does see much higher figures in North America, especially among the Generation Z.
Video content encourages engagement
Over a quarter (28%) of users of the four major social platforms outside of China engage with live streams each month on any one of these services. Facebook has the largest user base as well as the highest engagement rates with live video.
How are consumers using social media to engage with brands?
The majority of social media users qualify as brand followers and many are happy to be exposed to branded content on their newsfeeds, the report states. Consumers’ relationships with brands on these platforms are not always passive either with 48% of users classed as brand interactors, which includes those who are using social platforms to get in touch with brands and those who share posts from brands.