Hootsuite notes continued social rise amid fake news fears as Facebook stays on top

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The yearly Hootsuite digital report has hit the stands again – and has found social media use continues to climb amid the issues of fake news and privacy fears.

The report, which clocks in at 200 pages for the global edition, shows an uptick across the board in terms of social and digital growth. Active social media users went up 9% year on year to almost 3.5 billion globally, while mobile social media users went up 10% to 3.25 billion.

Facebook, despite all its problems over the past 12 months and more, is still the most popular social media network worldwide. According to the company’s most recent quarterlies, Facebook grew by 37 million monthly active users – growth which is slowing, but still growing. Instagram grew by 4.4% in the most recent quarter, or 38 million active users, while active advertising audiences of Twitter and Snapchat declined.

The figures continued to go up with regards to eCommerce. The report notes that more than 2.8 billion people purchased consumer goods via eCommerce over the past year, up 3.1%, while a reported spend of $1.78 trillion is at a 14% jump year on year.

Hootsuite recommends three areas where brands need to focus in the coming year:

  • Rebuilding trust with consumers: This is a pretty obvious one given the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, GDPR sweeping in and general concerns over fake news. “Brands must be clear why they are collecting data and use the data they do collect to create personalised, one-to-one experiences that offer new value to customers,” the report notes
  • Break down marketing silos: This publication has put emphasis on this area – not least in concern to where the CMO sits in boardroom strategy. Hootsuite advises to “begin by establishing common KPIs with other departments [and] use social to achieve broad business objectives like brand health, revenue, and customer retention”
  • Make a unified view an imperative: It remains a Holy Grail of sorts for marketing departments, as the report explains. “Tying together data and working fluidly with other departments is a tough task. But cracking this code offers a giant leap ahead of your competitors in 2019”

The advice to use social in achieving broad business objectives seems more in line with Hootsuite’s vision. Rob Coyne, Hootsuite general manager EMEA, wrote for this publication in April that organisations should be taking risks by not being on social. “Failing to invest in social risks capital, so becoming socially mature and leading by example is key for organisations, before their competition can monopolise the social advantage,” wrote Coyne.

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