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Digital Disruptors: The Global Competitive Landscape of Social Media

July 2021

Social media has changed the way people communicate and brought new opportunities to retailers and brands. As social media continues to evolve, it is set to expand to new consumer demographics and gain space within the e-commerce landscape. The report features global and regional social media platforms, shedding light on how these are faring across markets.

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Key findings

Importance of social media as a modern communication tool

Social media platforms have evolved from a direct electronic information exchange, to become a virtual gathering place, retail platform and an essential 21st century marketing tool. They have become the foundation and digital bridge between consumers and businesses.

The older generations want to join the social media party

While young adults such as Gen Z and millennials were among the earliest social media adopters and continue to frequent the various social media platforms, usage by the older adults has also increased in recent years. Quick adoption by the older generation driven by COVID-19-related mobility restrictions will open up new expansion opportunities for retailers.

Consumers’ increased consumption of videos driving marketing strategy

Social media is becoming a greater force for buying decisions. When they see a product on their feed, they are more inclined to simply click on the link and buy it. Brands and retailers are increasingly utilising video marketing strategies to improve engagement rates and basket conversion.

Digital fatigue is a hurdle that social media platforms need to overcome

While social media has made a positive impact on how we interact with people, how we consume content, and how we share significant moments in our lives, it has become so pervasive it now saturates almost every phase of our daily lives. It will be a challenge for existing social media platforms to reinvigorate and overcome social media fatigue.

S-commerce to provide additional avenue for social media platforms to diversify their offerings

The pandemic has increased e-commerce penetration globally, and consequently, this is providing a significant opportunity for social commerce to have a larger slice of the e-commerce pie. Social media platforms in this digitally driven era have already changed the way people communicate and they will be expected to play an increasingly important role in the world of commerce.

Introduction

About the report
Key findings

State of Play

Social media cementing its importance as a modern communication tool
Older generations are the newcomers to social media platforms
S-commerce gains space in social media’s revenues
Micro-influencers gaining consumers’ preference
Consumers’ increased consumption of videos driving marketing strategy

Profiles on Global Disruptors

Discord
Facebook
Facebook Messenger
Instagram
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Reddit
Skype
Snapchat
TikTok
Twitter
WhatsApp
YouTube

Profiles on Disruptors in Asia

KakaoTalk
LINE
WeChat

Profiles on Disruptors in EMEA

Eksi Sözlük
Mapotic
Telegram
Trombi
Vkontake
Xing

Prospects

Digital fatigue might lead to setbacks in social media usage
Opportunities for s-commerce to take larger slices of the e-commerce pie
Social media and tech companies set to step on each other’s toes

Appendix

Digital Consumer analysis regularly leverages multiple methodologies
An overview of methodologies often used in Digital Consumer analysis (1)
An overview of methodologies often used in Digital Consumer analysis (2)
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