SA drinking linked to social media

2012-09-28 11:37
South Africans are more likely to post pictures of themselves on social networks when under the influence of alcohol. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

South Africans are more likely to post pictures of themselves on social networks when under the influence of alcohol. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - South Africans are more likely to post pictures of themselves on social media sites while under the influence of alcohol, a survey has found.

The plethora of Facebook images of users enjoying a good time with alcohol might not be news to South Africans, but the study aimed to understand the preferences of drinkers to assist brands in mobile marketing campaigns.

Around 80% of over 18 South Africans said that their social media activity spiked while consuming alcohol and 76% of the same group admitted to freely communicating while under the influence.

The number declines with over 35s who prefer to surf the internet or play online games while drinking the survey, which was commissioned by ad network InMobi, found.

The survey was also able to highlight drinking habits among South Africans.


At least 42% of survey respondents drink weekly and 61% of higher income earners consume alcohol to relax. Lower income earners primarily drink on special occasions (64%), the survey found.

Drinking at nightclubs was heavily skewed toward under 35s at 71%, while older consumers (82%) preferred to drink at a friend's home.

Drinkers are also loyal (53%) to their brands with only 11% trying out new rinks on a regular basis compared to 72% who stick to their favourite drink.

"For us, though, the most interesting thing to come out of this survey is that for most consumers, mobile is a better medium than TV or online for alcohol ads," said Daryn Smith who manages marketing for InMobi Africa and the Middle East.

Online advertising is still in its early days but new technologies that enable users to engage with adverts have seen some success on an active platform as opposed to passive ads on TV, print and radio.

That doesn't mean that online advertising is a sure hit, and Smith cautioned that brands should make an effort to create effective ad campaigns.

"But you still need to grab their attention. People love giveaways, discounts and invitations to VIP events - or at least something that is funny."

Loyalty programmes

According to the survey, only 7% of users preferred to interact with brands via the website, while loyalty programmes via SMS was the most popular at 40%.

"People have their mobiles with them all the time – and brands are beginning to take advantage of this great opportunity to develop hard-hitting messages that have direct effects on consumer behaviour," Smith said.

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