What are the stats?

Kiwis are spending more time engaging with social media than ever before. With a remarkable average of 2 hours per day spent on social in the most recent GWI study*.

However, after years of growth, trends show us that this social media usage is set to plateau.  As life has opened up post-pandemic, competition for attention has intensified.  Many users are also looking to adopt healthier social media habits.  In fact, since 2020 there has been a 12% rise in people saying they use social less than they used to, despite figures showing us otherwise.

But never fear social media marketers, this may just be a good thing for us.  Our audiences are increasingly discerning with less pressing need to ‘while away’ time on social.  Users are still engaging with content that lands with them and adds value not just spending less time in a scroll hole.

What do users want from your content?

Authenticity: There has been a shift towards feeds that mirror real life and away from perfection.  39% of Gen Z social media users agree that they ‘care less about impressing others on social media than they used to’.   New layouts like the ‘photo dump’ on Instagram which combines photos in a less polished, more messy aesthetic have caught on.  

Reality sells with surveyed users. 44% saying they are more likely to trust someone if they know their struggles. *  

TIP: As marketers we need to think about who we use to promote our products.  True content creators who align well to the brand will be more important that traditional ‘influencers’ with a perfect feed in 2023.

Ethics and Community: Alignment with communities and movements is increasingly important in 2023.  Movements such as #postmypill and #blacklivesmatter allowing users to showcase what they care about and align themselves to global issues.

TIP: If younger consumers are putting out more raw, socially aware material into the world, brands need to match and encourage it.  Whether it’s simply encouraging and supporting less polished and more diverse User Generated content or picking issues that align with your brand, it’s time to get personal.

Connection: Connection is still at the heart of social media.  Keeping in touch with friends and family was stated as the main reason to use social media across all generations from Gen Z to Baby Boomers.  From a commercial perspective 64% of internet users listed social media as the way they find out about new brands/products.

TIP: Brand discovery is happening on your feed.  Your social media is your chance to connect with these users.  While highly targeted dark ads might be your biggest converters – don’t forget about the value of more organic brand content which allows you to make those important connections with your established community and new users.

What’s the winning format?

Short form videos are on trend and more popular than long-form or static creative across every age group and country studied.  While TikTok kickstarted the era of bite-sized videos, most platforms have taken up the challenge.  Reels and You Tube Shorts are prime examples.

TIP: Companies need to meet consumers where they are to make the most impact, which means upping your investment in the formats that are likely to pay off. What short form video would your customers love?  Is there any opportunity to use fun filters, TikTok stich or Instagram Remix features to encourage your audience to with your content.

Which channels are on the rise?

Tik Tok: “Since 2020, the number of consumers using TikTok monthly has grown by 32%. Despite its youthful reputation, engagement has grown the most among Gen X and baby boomers. Its popularity doesn’t show any signs of slowing and older consumers have a hand in this trend”. *
TIP: While no longer just for the youth, if targeting older generations on TikTok remember why they are there.  Those engaging in the platform are more likely to see themselves as adventurous and creative, so it is important to show them in that light.

Messaging: The use of messaging services is going from strength to strength with Facebook Messenger the preferred option for New Zealanders.  In fact, 14% of users state they have interacted with a brand over Facebook Messenger in the last month.
TIP: If running campaigns with a Messenger component remember that set and forget Q&A can only go so far.  Plan the time to be active and responsive to customers – one conversation at a time.

Pinterest/Instagram/Snapchat: While all different in their look and feel, these platforms share considerable overlap in their reasons for use.  For example Pinners who say they use the site to find brand-related information also visit Instagram for the same reason.
TIP: Pick your battles.  Sometimes it is worthwhile maximising one of these platforms rather than stretching yourself too thin.

Regardless of which Platforms you choose, always remember why people are there and ensure that your presence is a natural one.  While TikToks should be funny, entertaining or helpful, Twitter posts should be up-to-date, topical and newsworthy.  Be sure to tailor your content to suit and give users a reason to interact with you.

*Insights have been taken from a GWI Core Research report conducted amongst 204,493 of 16 – 64 year olds across 47 countries.

About Matter

Matter is the agency for brands who are serious about using social media as an effective marketing channel. Whether you’re a B2B looking needing to market on LinkedIn, or a consumer brand that needs a presence across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or Pinterest, we can help. www.matteragency.co.nz