The 2019 Think Forward report published by offers a deep dive into why the state of social media matters. The report unpacks the complex and ever-shifting web of consumer identity and looks at the role brands play in reflecting and shaping it.

The report documents trends and offers fresh insight and salient real-world examples on how social media is changing, and how brands can build resilience in the face of it all.

Some figures highlighted in the report include:

  • The total number of active internet users globally – 4,388 billion
  • The number of internet users in South Africa – 31,18 million
  • The average time daily that South Africans spend using the internet via multiple devices – 8h25
  • The average time daily that is spent using the internet via multiple devices globally – 6h42
  • The average time South Africans spend on social media – 2h48
  • The average time spent on social media globally – 2h16

The report also noted a few acceptable and unacceptable practises that businesses should conform to when it comes to social media. These are namely:

Acceptable Unacceptable
Only post about company culture, team mates, etc. in appropriate photographs Provoke, attack, use profanities or offend others
Distinguish between personal and work related posts Publish illicit, racist, sexist, homophobic, or sexually unacceptable content
Forward work related questions to the appropriate department or people Post content promoting hate sites or groups or content that encourages unlawful activity
Use common sense and courtesy to admit mistakes and apologise when necessary Give advice to clients via social media
Be respectful of other cultures, religions and values Post incorrect, confidential, or non-public content about the company or your clients
Post correct facts, be truthful and support opinions with facts Respond to questions or negative comments on the company’s official pages