Social media is filled with unproven myths, guesses and assumptions from both brands and individuals, where measurement shows that most data is behind the high walls of platforms that we trust with our data. The much talked about Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal of 2018 was the tipping point to API closures from Facebook, Instragram, Twitter and others.
What does this mean for brands, measurement, brand data democratisation and publicly available information for communicators, marketing and brands?
It means that in some ways we have regressed in our ability to monitor, measure and make sense of how people utilise social media. On the other hand, it means we are now finding better ways to collaborate and add other localised data sets that increase context in Africa. Additional to the data that is controlled by social media platforms (where they are the only ones who report statistics) we now also integrate usage from people on the ground as well as platform numbers.
The 2020 edition of The South African Social Media Landscape includes more data sets from on-the-ground research through collaboration with TGI / Ask Afrika and also YouKnow, who bring insightful survey data by GlobalWebIndex. These, among other significant social medial platform numbers, form one of the most in-depth analyses into the usage of social media and internet usage in South Africa.
Ornico has found that analysing social media spend, growth and usage needs a detailed look from across various data points, which include looking outside the platforms by asking some of the most active social media users about their habits.