In its short history, Social Media has changed dramatically. From the pre-smartphone ‘text-centred’ days where Facebook and Twitter reigned supreme, to the arrival of advertising, through to the rise of Instagram, and lately – the arrival of Reels and the vanity culture that has mushroomed as Influencer marketing and it’s impact has accelerated.
But some core areas are constant, not least the frantic battle for popularity and attention among major social platforms. Social media stats matter, not least to the top brass of Social Media platforms themselves, but also to marketers and businesses owners who rely on having an impact on the right platforms to their relevant audiences !
So, what do the very latest stats on social media use in Ireland tell us? Overall:
- The meteoric rise of TikTok is having major implications for youth-oriented marketing , and TikTok’s rivals too!
- With the big winners – Instagram and TikTok – have video content at the heart of their platforms. And there’s a lesson in that!
- There’s a slow decline for Facebook (I’ll explain why it’s less important that people might think!)
- LinkedIn continues to go from strength to strength (and no it’s not just a Professional CV site!)
Facebook is still dominant – but daily usages falls
Facebook is still the most dominant Social Media Network used in Ireland in 2022, however there has been a marked decline in daily usage.
Does this mirror a wider trend? Partially – the last couple of years that show Facebook showing a slow decline in user growth. However, In spring 22 it was reported that the number of daily active Facebook users grew to 1.96 billion (in Q1)
There’s worrying trend for people to question the value of using Facebook for marketing following news reports of user declines. The reality is – Facebook remains an increadibly powerful media platform to use to reach and engage with target audiences. And that’s not going to change anytime soon !
Savvy marketers in Ireland continue to place a high value on Facebook and Instagram as a combined platform because of their high user retention rates AND the fact that both Facebook and Instagram are both very sticky platforms. Among their core users, 55% use Facebook daily, and for Instagram the daily use is even higher at 63%. Beat that Twitter!
Insta Goes from Strength to Strength
Instagram is now used by more than half of Irish adults in 2022, and its popularity continues to rise year on year. By placing Reels and videos at the heart of its platform, Instagram has recently shifted its content focus and has benefited as one of the most used social media platforms in Ireland in 2022.
The implication, and indeed challenge, for businesses is the need to improve their capability at producing better video content. In addition, the algorithm will push video content out to a wider audience. If done correctly, this is an opportunity for businesses to gain a better reach and impact.
The largest professional social media network – LinkedIn
Also experiencing more growth is LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional social media network. LinkedIn’s social media use in Ireland has grown steadily in recent years, and the daily usage rate has also grown since 2020, mirroring the record levels of engagement, as per-session usage increases significantly.
The Meteoric Rise of TikTok
But the standout Social Media Platform witnessing massive growth in 2022 is TikTok. The latest research from IPSOS – with 21% of the population using the App, mainly teenagers / under 25s. For many brands and organisations – it’s now THE social media platform to reach young people.
TikTok’s algorithm is complex in that it serves content to its users based on what they watch and are interested in. It can be a very a different platform to other social networks if you aren’t used to it. And I do think that so many businesses avoid it out of a fear of the unknown!
So what are the opportunities for businesses here?
Firstly, organisations can create TikTok videos by following viral trends and sounds while also promoting their products. Done in a captivating and fun way – it allows the user to watch the video and then click on the product, bringing them to their ecommerce site.
Companies can also now use ‘TikTok for Business’ to advertise. E-commerce stores now have a significant opportunity to use the platform, as TikTok allows businesses to create a TikTok shop that serves as an e-commerce store.
Now more than ever there is an opportunity for small businesses to really have an impact and even go viral. There are so many examples of small businesses such as Enchanted Scrunch who went to TikTok to try and gain a better reach and started to reach 10k to 3 million views on a video. Jamie Online is another brand that started to use social media and TikTok while working with influencers to gain a huge following. The vintage clothing brand reached up to 1.7 million views on some videos which led to an increase in orders for the business. Both businesses showing the huge opportunities for e-commerce brands to gain a wider younger audience.
Twitter’s recent decline
Twitter continues to witness sharp declines in usage – down 9% since 2019. The steady declines reflect those seen worldwide as the platform suffers from user fatigue, in addition to many people avoiding the increasingly toxic culture. And, more recently, the takeover by Elon Musk has also caused controversy as he highlighted the fact that a lot of users are fake/spam accounts. However, Elon has now pulled out of the deal and Twitter may now be suing him according to recent reports…
WhatsApp’s takeover of messaging networks in Ireland
In terms of messaging networks, Whatsapp is the most popular social media messaging app in Ireland. It was chosen as the preferred messaging platform by 81% of people here. Meta also owns Whatsapp, demonstrating their strength and ownership of a large percentage of the top networks. Meta’s strength is also proven again with 58 percent of users choosing Facebook Messenger as their preferred platform.
The overall trend with the latest IPSOS data and Social Media Use in Ireland in 2022 is that Meta is massively dominating the social media environment and it offers a very attractive options for marketers.
And the rise of TikTok will continue to cause a headache for Meta, as it’s original and frenetic experience becomes more ingrained with young people.