Social media has become an essential part of our everyday lives.
Today, almost over half of the world’s population uses some form of social media. In fact, according to Statista, the number of active social media users in the world was 4.26 billion people in 2021, with the number being projected to reach almost 6 billion in 2027.
This makes social media vital for businesses of all sizes — which is why social media professionals with an accredited online social media course or qualification, have become so essential.
Discover more about a social media certification as MANCOSA discusses what social media is, its stance in South Africa, how brands and companies are using it, and will cover some of the top social media trends so you can decide if an online social media course is right for you.
What is social media?
Social media is a collective term for applications and websites that enable people and businesses to create and share content online to participate in social networking.
It’s a form of visual storytelling that both businesses and consumers use.
- Consumers use social media to stay in touch with their family, friends, and other communities.
- Businesses use it to communicate brand messages to existing customers and attract new customers.
Some popular examples of social media platforms include:
Which social media are most popular in South Africa?
In January 2022, there were 28 million active social media users in South Africa, accounting for around 46% of the total population.
Facebook takes the lead as the most popular social media platform in SA, with 77.76% of social media users using Facebook, followed by 10.8% who use YouTube and 5.94% who use Twitter.
(Image Source: Statcounter)
The increased use of social media in South Africa means that more businesses are employing social media professionals than ever before.
Getting a higher certificate in social media gives you a great chance of being hired.
How are brands and companies using social media?
Today, businesses that don’t use social media risk being left behind in our ever-evolving digital world. To remain competitive, they need to be present on the platforms where their target customers spend most of their time.
Since social media platforms give businesses and brands access to billions of people, many companies use social media to:
- Create brand awareness and attract new customers by consistently posting relevant and valuable content.
- Keep their existing customers happy by communicating with them, responding to their queries, and providing them with the information they need.
- Sell their products and services by making use of social media ads.
- Create a community of loyal followers who will continue to listen to and buy from them instead of their competitors.
Take Edgars as an example. The company has generated a massive presence on social media — having nearly 750,000 followers on Facebook. This is because the brand posts consistently (almost daily or sometimes multiple times per day) and responds to its customers’ comments.
The brand can achieve this because it has a team of social media professionals in the background who monitor its platforms, brainstorm creative content ideas, and engage with its followers.
The same can be said for millions of other businesses around the world.
2022 social media trends: what to expect
The social media space is evolving every year, with new features being added consistently that brands and businesses can utilise to grow their customer base and authority — consequently helping them make more profit.
Some of the top trends for 2022 include:
- TikTok will continue to grow and bring in high levels of opportunity for businesses to increase their reach — especially those with younger target audiences.
- Paid social media advertising will become a necessity as competition continues to grow.
- Audio will become more popular — meaning that brands must incorporate it into their social media strategies to stay relevant.
- Social commerce will continue to expand. Thus, social media will become one of the most important avenues for businesses to sell their products and services.
- User-generated content will continue to grow in popularity — and businesses will need social media experts to manage this type of content.
- Local targeting will become more critical than ever before. Thus, businesses will need social media experts to help them with their regional social media marketing strategy.
- Video content will continue to dominate the social media world. So businesses will need to have a dedicated social media team to conceptualise, create, and publish quality video content.
- Influencer marketing will remain a top social media marketing strategy — meaning businesses will need social media employees to identify, communicate, and manage their social media influencers.
All of these trends solidify the fact that social media professionals are more in demand than ever in history, and the need for trained staff who have qualifications like an online social media course will continue to grow as time progresses and social media platforms advance. Discover how social media forms part of Digital Transformation in Modern Marketing Management. Those with formal education and the necessary skills to implement effective organic and paid social media strategies will stand out above the rest and will have better chances of attaining high-paying marketing positions.
Register for an online social media course with MANCOSA
Now that you know that social media is here to stay and the need for employees in this space continues to grow, are you ready to get your social media certification? Have a look at MANCOSA’s Higher Certificate in Social Media and Communication and start paving the way for a successful career in the online social space.