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SA ahead of global standards for social listening and analytics adoption [report]

New research has been released by social listening and analytics platform, Talkwalker and global market research and data analytics firm, YouGov, which surveyed 3,700 marketing and communications professionals based in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, USA, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.
Image source: Gallo/Getty Images.

Talkwalker’s Global State of PR report reveals how different regions define PR and how communication departments cannot afford to be siloed anymore.

It highlights the different ways in which PR professionals use social listening tools in their day to day work, and which metrics they currently measure. This revealed that they are creating significant value in their role by increasingly embracing social listening for media management, influencer marketing, and real-time online crisis and reputation management.

Social listening tools

The global adoption of social listening and analytics in the industry was reported at 48%. Countries with the highest reported use of social listening tools include France (75%), Italy (72%), United States (71%), South Africa (71%), India (68%), and the UAE (59%). Conversely, Sweden (25%) and Norway (28%) reported the least use.

While nearly half of PR professionals globally confirmed that their companies use social listening tools, only 15% of them utilise them for newsjacking - a huge missed opportunity, considering newsjacking is widely considered as a PR technique that can drive mass coverage and influence sales in a measurable way.

The global users of social listening tools in the marcomms industry have traditionally been social media managers and data analysts - however, Talkwalker’s 2020 Global State of PR report reveals that PR account managers, executives, coordinators, directors, and vice presidents together accounted for 33% of global users.

In South Africa, the number is even higher at 44%. This represents an interesting development for the PR industry as it maximises the potential of social listening to protect, measure and promote brands. Shockingly, however, no C-level executives were reported by their companies to have access to social listening tools for reputation and crisis management - despite how critical these elements are to their roles in the PR industry.

Influencer marketing

Finally, as influencer marketing has evolved into a key opportunity for marketers today - worth up to $10bn in 2020 - Talkwalker asked PR professionals how they engage with influencers, who they engage with, and which metrics they measure to prove ROI. The biggest surprise was that the industry is not actually dominated by Instagram, as many would think.

For B2C influencer campaigns, 70% of PR professionals used Facebook to engage with influencers, compared to 68% using Instagram. In South Africa, a different trend was apparent with 67% of PR professionals collaborating with influencers on LinkedIn – the highest rate recorded for the platform globally.

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When it comes to B2B influencer campaigns, 65% of global PR professionals collaborate with influencers on Facebook and 53% on Instagram. In South Africa, Twitter and Facebook are tied for the most used platforms by PR professionals to collaborate with influencers for B2B campaigns at 88%.

PR professionals were also quick to jump on the fairly new social media platform, TikTok, with 8% using it for B2C influencer campaigns and 4% for B2B influencer campaigns. In South Africa, none of the survey respondents confirmed having used TikTok for influencer collaborations in 2019.

Untapped potential

Robert Glaesener, global CEO at Talkwalker said:
The PR landscape has certainly undergone a lot of changes to keep up with today’s shift to digital. It is a very exciting time for the industry with plenty of untapped potential for PR professionals to go fully social and unlock the huge benefits that social PR strategies could offer. 
He continued; “We strive to offer PR and communication professionals cutting edge solutions in the social listening and analytics space, empowering them to protect and optimise their brands’ reputation globally. Most recently, we launched Conversation Clusters, a data visualisation tool that maps topics visually from millions of social media conversations, enabling PR professionals and marketers to easily uncover and exploit stories, trends and content that can be leveraged in communication and PR campaigns.”

For more data from Talkwalker’s 2020 State of PR survey, with detailed regional analysis, download the complete report here.
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