What: UM, part of the IPG Mediabrands, launched the results of their annual ‘Wave’ study for the ninth year, revealing interesting data on social media use worldwide and highlighted the importance of captivating consumers’ attention through listening to their emotional needs and understanding micro-moments.
Why It Matters: The ‘Wave9’ study surveyed 52,000 people in 78 countries, and found that in Latin America, social media and digital platforms are increasingly influencing popular opinion, shaping purchasing patterns, and becoming means of self-promotion. The study also revealed significant growth of smart TVs in the region.
UM has released its annual Wave study for the ninth year in a row, this time looking at 60 billion online interactions and surveying 52,000 people in 78 countries. The study seeks to identify opportunities for brands to develop effective messaging for consumers through determining how they are using social media and digital platform use.
According to the study, consumers’ expectations of brands are higher than ever thanks to the fact that they place a high premium on immediacy in their lives: 85 percent of global respondents say they use instant messaging to be immediately connected with family and friends. Brands that prioritize convenience and bringing consumers immediate solutions like Netflix, Amazon, Spotify and Uber have found success this way. The study also found that consumers’ desire to share content related to brands has grown by 15 percent.
LATAM Users Increasingly Connected to, Influenced by Social Media
The study found that in Latin America, 51 percent of social media users confirmed that they are influenced by opinions shared online. This number reached 55 percent in Mexico and Colombia.
81 percent of LATAM users primarily use Facebook to stay connected with friends compared to 60 percent worldwide, and 70 percent say that the platform affects their opinions.
But YouTube is catching up: in Chile 51 percent of consumers claimed that it influences their opinion, and 56 percent say that it enriches conversation. 67 percent of Latin American respondents said that to them, YouTube is a new way of watching television.
84 percent of the Latin American social media users spend most of their time actively administering their profiles, and compared to seven years ago, people are 40 percent more likely to consider social media as a space for fun and entertainment, and 30 percent more likely to see them as a page to promote themselves. 59 percent also reported feeling anxiety when they cannot connect to Internet.
Mario Mejía, Comms Strategist Lead at MB LATAM, added that “apart from being fun, social media platforms are sources of content that can generate conversations among friends and differentiated terrain, meaning that they are increasingly important in strategies for connecting with consumers.”
Smart TVs Making their Mark in the Region
67 percent of Latin American users affirmed that they would be happy if they could start watching television primarily through their social media platforms. Among digital users, there is a 51 percent penetration of smart TVs in the region (53 percent in Argentina).
“We knew that online TV was growing, but we were surprised that so many already have a smart TV in their homes,” Mejía said.
‘Why’ Moments Help Brands Understand Why People Share
To better understand why and when people buy and what drives stronger connections between consumers and brands, the Wave study looked at “why” moments. Mejía explained: “We started to connect the information from our study to understand the moments that matter most: moments in family, breakups, the formation new relationships, financial achievements, hobbies — significant moments in different categories. We looked at all of them to understand how they made people share online.”
Wave’s goal was to understand the moments that consumers associate with purchasing and the emotions that drive them. In Latin America, the two emotions associated with purchasing are ‘intrigue’ and ‘happiness.’ The study also found that in moments associated with purchasing, 17 percent of LATAM respondents said that they will spend more time researching products, and 18 percent of them use social media to build their weekly purchases, indicating just how important a role social media plays in Latin American consumers’ daily lives.
“With respect to intrigue, there is a great communications opportunity for brands to use their content to awaken that very emotion in customers. It’s not only an opportunity in the points of contact, but also for the content and messaging that brands are developing. It helps us prioritize and understand our consumers,” Mejía said.