Digital Disruptors: The Global Competitive Landscape of Social Media

October 2022

Social media platforms have established relevance beyond communication. Rapid evolution has increased their importance in the new consumer journey. Technological integration is further supporting new business models via social media including the growing potential of social commerce. This report profiles leading platforms; Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube, among others. The report also discusses prospects for social media platforms, including areas of strategic growth.

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Key findings

Social media establishes relevance beyond communication

With more than 70% of globally connected consumers using social media platforms, the unparalleled outreach of these platforms has made them an active space for businesses to engage and influence consumers. More importantly, as user behaviour on the platforms leads to new use cases and trends, social media platforms are evolving in new ways.

Social media platforms see rising importance across the consumer journey

As social media becomes a space for shared experiences and engagement, consumer interactions with companies on the platforms are translating into impact across the path to purchase. From seeking product information, inspiration and recommendation, social media platforms are transitioning into in-app purchases, elevating social commerce opportunities.

With cross-platform integration, social media platforms will enrich omnichannel experiences

The relevance of social media platforms for direct-to-consumer sales will heighten as social commerce prospects look bright. However, cross-platform integration will offer greater opportunities for brands to enrich omnichannel experience by leveraging social media across other channel formats.

Integration of mature and emerging technologies is set to transform social media

Existing and emerging technologies will seek social media applications that would reshape user experience on digital platforms. From artificial intelligence empowering on multiple fronts, deployment of new payment methods, to mass adoption of personalised avatars, social media platforms stand as a bridge to the next phase of digital solutions in Web3 environments.

Finding new revenue streams through new pricing models and diversification is next on the agenda

Despite the apparently competitive social media landscape, white spaces exist and understanding user behaviour will be key to continued growth for players. As social media platforms move into a maturity phase, most will explore new revenue streams via freemium pricing models, brand platform diversification and integration of additional services.

Scope
Key findings
Social media platforms have established relevance beyond communication
Understanding generational attributes is key for players in the social media ecosystem
The importance of social media continues to heighten in the new consumer journey
Converting social media engagement into purchases furthers e-commerce
Ways social media is changing e-commerce
Channeling shoppers from social storefronts to dot.com
Supporting ideation, inspiration and recommendation
Social shops have the potential to establish social marketplaces
Social media platforms are enabling brands to drive influence and carve communities
Livestream selling inspires retail innovation through social media platforms
Social messaging apps see commerce potential through end-to-end shopping service
Instagram
Snapchat
TikTok
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Telegram
Skype
Viber
WhatsApp
WeChat
Facebook Messenger
YouTube
Social media will remain a key part of consumers’ lives despite debate over negative impacts
Social media to find greater integration across platforms as brands go omnichannel
Four ways that maturing and emerging technologies will transform social media
From “free” to “freemium” - social media platforms step up monetisation
Exploring new revenue streams and platform diversification offer areas of strategic growth
Five actions retailers and brands should take to win at social media
About Euromonitor’s Syndicated Channels Research
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