South Africa has become the 10th largest user of Twitter in the world, while the country has the most Facebook users on the continent, even surpassing Egypt. The figures speak for themselves. Research company Sysmos claims that South African Twitter users make up 0.85 percent of total online Twitter interaction. Twitter receives about 55 million visits a month, generating a whopping 467 500 visits a month. In visited site terms, next best is SABCnews.com (60 730).
Research data processing organisation Startup Africa states that there are 1.4 million Facebook users in South Africa, the highest number on the continent.
I think these stats are pretty amazing….10th place!!! I also hope you all know that you can send tweets from within Nimbuzz. A simple update of your status can automatically send a tweet from your twitter account
I found this article in IOL technology yesterday and it updates a few subjects we covered here earlier. Read the rest of the article after the break.
But as people continue to flock to them (a recent report found nearly one in four Britons uses Facebook for an average of six hours a month, up four hours from this time last year, while Twitter has gone from 100 000 users to 2.6 million in the past year) and as most corporate websites are akin to brochures with a library attached, it’s little wonder social networking sites are increasingly being seen as the bread and butter of customer relations management.
Gurus go so far as to predict they will have superseded corporate websites in terms of influence and power in two years’ time. “Businesses should be using social media because their customers are all using it,” says Nancy Williams, managing director of the social media marketing consultancy Tiger Two.
“More and more people are going online to converse, be entertained and research purchases. The fact is, conversations are already happening online about their business or product, so they need to be involved with that.”
Because social media is a conversation rather than a broadcast, it’s a hugely effective marketing tool, she says – and what’s more, it’s free. “Most people will respond more positively to a two-way conversation with a brand instead of being shouted at with yet another marketing message.” The result can be your supporters evangelising your brand in their own communities and thus delivering the holy grail of personal endorsement.
“Social media also provides brands with the ultimate focus group,” says Gavin Sheppard, development director at the communications charity Media Trust, who believes the rise of social media is taking businesses by surprise just as much as the internet did a decade ago. “Social networking enables companies to discover not just the answers to their questions, but the answers to questions they’d never thought of asking.”
Virtually any kind of business can benefit, insists Robert Epstein, head of small and medium businesses at Microsoft. “Take a restaurant, for example. They could use YouTube or MySpace to take customers behind the scenes visually. They could use Twitter to provide regular updates and Facebook and LinkedIn to enable people to post electronic versions of their CVs and to connect to other people to get ideas about how to improve.”
Matt Rhodes, head of client services at social media experts FreshNetworks, says the starting point for any business is ensuring you know what you want to achieve – increased brand awareness, customer retention, a feedback mechanism and so on. “Next, establish who you want to engage – new or existing customers, a certain part of your customer group or more general. Then work out where these people congregate and what will engage them best.” Rhodes also encourages brands to create their own online communities. “Ask people to upload their memories of a particular experience with a brand or to work with you to develop a product.”
Always facilitate genuine dialogue. A survey by the Global Web Index found people think better of brands that provide a page on a social network where you can ask questions.
Audi recently used this to its advantage by using Facebook to help gather views as part of its product development cycle.
Don’t forget the power of social networking for recruitment, adds Lucie Bickerdike, account executive at the Hoffman Agency.
“I was recruited exclusively through Twitter. My line manager was searching profiles for people looking for PR jobs, and my profile matched the criteria. We set up a meeting through Twitter, and I was offered the job.”