As the usage of internet nudges further upwards in Malta, reaching 87.5% according to data published by the National Statistics Office, usage of online social networks increases as well. Of those that have access to internet, 95% browse the internet and 85% access online social networks at least once a day.
misco has just published the results of the fourth edition of the Social Media Usage Trends survey which will enable readers to understand the behaviours and attitudes of respondents in relation to social media. The results of a survey conducted in association with the Ornate Group, show that trends are consolidating themselves.
While Facebook is still the social media network which is most accessed, there is a trend of increased usage of Instagram and YouTube. While the percentage of respondents accessing Facebook remained fairly stable since 2018, the percentage of those accessing YouTube and Instagram, has increased.
Rebecca Gera, Director of misco, commented that, “The results of this year’s survey, which is the fourth wave of such a survey, could have been influenced by the coronavirus. However one also notes a return to behaviours seen pre-COVID. One needs to see what future waves indicate, that is whether usage of social media will evolve into a new normal or whether it will return to pre-COVID days”.
The use of certain apps, such as social networking apps, productivity apps (such as bank apps, time organiser apps, etc), entertainment apps and retail apps, is increasing. Overall one notes an increase in the usage of most categories of apps. This survey also confirmed the view that emerged in previous waves, namely that the Maltese are passive consumers of social media. 61% respondents to the survey just look at other persons’ content and comments, without doing further action such as sharing content or creating new content. Only 11% create new material and content on the social media and 45% share contents and comments they come across.
A part of the survey focussed on advertising. The results are showing that exposure to offline advertising is decreasing while exposure to online advertising is increasing. 66% stated that they are exposed to offline advertising, down from 86% in 2018, while 91% stated that they are exposed to online advertising, up from 80% in 2018.
Respondents were asked where they prefer to watch / hear / read advertisements. In this wave of the survey social media have overtaken television as the preferred medium. While there was a spike in 2021 for both media, the longer-term trend sows a slight decline for television and a slight increase for social media, to the point that 38% prefer to watch / hear / read advertisements on social media and 34% prefer television. Radio comes third. There is an evident decline for magazines and an increase for e-mail. Overall 54% prefer to watch / hear / read advertisements on online media compared to 45% in 2018, while 63% prefer offline media, compared to 73% in 2018.
76% of respondents stated that they shop online. This is a slight increase over 2021 but is lower than the level achieved in 2020. Looking at longer term trends, the 2022 data sows an increase in online shoppers for clothing footwear and accessories, grocery products, make-up, beauty care products, healthcare products, and personal care products, car insurance and home appliances. The purchase of airline tickets and hotel stays has not yet recovered from the restrictions related to COVID.
Andrew Zammit-Manduca, founder of the Ornate Group, said that, “Online marketing has now become mainstream marketing alongside with offline marketing, and these results confirm this trend. Businesses therefore need to devote the appropriate resources to ensure a good return on investment from their marketing expenditure”.
A copy of the report can obtained by sending an email to [email protected] with a request for a copy of the report.