Is Twitter Revelant to Marketing in SA?

There is a place where millions of birds gather to chat and chirp about trending topics and the latest scandals. Some flock to speak their minds while others are simply there to ‘retweet’. No, we’re not talking about the park, we’re talking about Twitter. At the beginning of 2014, Twitter had 5.5 million active users (that’s a lot of birds).

Today, although the platform doesn’t hold the biggest percentage of South African users, it is a generator of the most highly shared content. However, many may argue that it is not a platform relevant to all businesses and therefore; all audiences. We’re here to answer this burning question and figure out whether Twitter Marketing in Cape Town is worth implementing into your strategy:

twitter marketing cape town

Let’s Look at Some Stats

To put things into perspective, we have to bring out some numbers. As we just mentioned, Twitter does not host a large percentage of South African social media users. As of June 2020, the platform only has its wings wrapped around 9.4% of our country’s digital population. Compared to Facebook’s 44.49%, we can’t blame marketers for not being enthusiastic about Twitter.

However, although the two platforms are often set up as rivals, Twitter’s content somehow always finds its way to Facebook. Most of this content usually pertains to straight-forward or somewhat negative sentiments. It is why many social media users have a particular perception of the Twitter landscape without ever being a user themselves.

Recent studies show, however, that of tweets reflecting sentiment, 61% comprise of positive sentiments while 39% are often negative. So if you’ve hesitated to use Twitter as a marketing platform because ‘it’s a space for gossip and drama’, these stats may give you something to think about.

Why do South Africans use Twitter?

The real question actually is; what do South Africans use Twitter for? Many major South African brands like Nandos and FNB have active Twitter accounts. In 2018, Twitter awarded both companies with ‘Best Brand Voice’ in its local marketing presence ranking. So businesses are successfully using the platform to create ‘hype’ around their brands and encourage engagement.

But, what are South Africans interested in when it comes to using Twitter? Up to 64% of users say they use the platform to keep up with breaking news. The same percentage goes for TV shows, movies and travel. About 63% of South Africans use Twitter to engage with humorous content and entertainment. Therefore, businesses utilising ‘local banter’ within their brand voice often receive the highest amount of online engagement.

Before you assume that Twitter is not suited for your brand, consider the culture that exists there. A diverse amount of businesses have formed authentic brand voices through the engagement that the platform exclusively provides. We believe they have made it work by communicating on their audience’s level.

How to Make Twitter Work for Your Brand

Bringing your business to a new social media platform is not as scary as you may think. Just between us, all platforms have the same effect, and they’re all linked to each other. However, we’re not saying you should approach different platforms with a ‘one size fits all’- mentality either. Twitter has a unique business model that requires understanding in order for you to implement your marketing strategy successfully.

Bad performance of South African brands on Twitter is mostly because they take hours to respond to their audience. In comparison, international brands have an average response time of three minutes. If you’re going to use Twitter as a marketing tool, you have to make sure you have enough resources allocated to the strategy. Marketing on this platform is about providing your customers with the right experience.

Since Twitter is an instant communication platform, consumers expect a quick turnaround on their questions or comments. You have an opportunity to prove to your audience that you are reliable, so why mess that up? Brands are slowly starting to learn that creating positive relationships with their customers also involves asking for their opinions. Posing questions to your audience about your brand helps you get a better understanding of what they want.

Twitter’s Relevance to the Digital Marketing Landscape

Twitter has proven to be useful for both marketers and consumers; that’s what makes it the perfect online gathering. As persistent as traditional marketing methods are, businesses can no longer afford not to have a social media presence. We find that small business owners in South Africa still need to get a grasp on this notion.

We’ve mentioned the success of big local brands on Twitter, but what about entrepreneurs who have just started their own business? With Facebook still reigning supreme as the go-to marketing platform, many small business owners would start there. However, studies show that Twitter users (compared to the general online population) are more open-minded. They are also more likely to discover and try new things.

As someone bringing a new concept or product to the online market, open-minded audiences is what you want. Most small business owners seem to look past the opportunity that Twitter provides. It is often because the platform is associated with celebrities and well-known brands. However, when you do your market research, you’ll find there’s a place for everyone.

Time to Tweet

When it comes to Twitter Marketing in Cape Town, marketers need to have a good understanding of their audience. This understanding will serve as a guide to whether Twitter is a relevant platform to use for creating brand awareness.

Twitter is a culture-rich platform, meaning online engagement is often encouraged by messages that are relevant to specific communities. Marketers need to figure out how they can use this to their advantage to use Twitter successfully.

Need help with formulating a Twitter Marketing strategy? Contact us today for all your Digital Marketing needs. Drop us an email to

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