Social media is filled with opinions and debate around countless issues. As a result, Black Twitter in South Africa has become one of the most influential communities whose impact has the power to sway public opinion across the social web.

Join the conversation, share your insights and perspectives on what and who makes this sub-culture a shifting community. As a survey participant, you will be among the first people to receive a summary of the inside scoop on this multi-faceted piece of research.

Between 1 January 2017 and 1 December 2019, our research shows that over 16-million Black Twitter associated posts were shared on Twitter.

The inspiration behind the survey and research stemmed from the curiosity of WordStart founder and MD, Mongezi Mtati; on what makes the local Black Twitter community influential, a perspective from data to people’s outlook. Early research insights already reveal a picture of a community that is driven by various thought leaders from legal minds, celebrities, journalists to social media influencers who built their reputations online with little to no mainstream media.

Our initial survey findings show that Black Twitter is more than just about popular TV shows and celebrity news, there is also a narrative of what and how brands can engage with socially-savvy and connected black professionals. These are the people whose views contribute to shaping media narratives and turn the tide in how brands communicate in a way that is not tone-deaf. They command some of South Africa’s most sought-after spending power and have a positive contribution to how we consider our diversity as a society.

From brands being more sensitive and considerate of people’s differences, because of possible backlash and positive engagement that adds towards revenue, to people losing their jobs because of offensive and racist social media banter.

Black Twitter in South Africa is positioned as a microcosm of the temperature of the country.

Leading Black Twitter topics in South Africa in June 2018: Word Cloud provided by Crimson Hexagon

Leading Black Twitter topics in South Africa in June 2018: Word Cloud provided by Crimson Hexagon

Our ongoing survey debunks the myth that Black Twitter is focused on entertainment, celebrity news and calling out certain individuals. Instead, we are finding that politics, how politicians can be instrumental to societal change and the government take centre-stage.

Between 1 January 2017 and 1 December 2019, our research shows that over 16-million Black Twitter associated posts were shared on Twitter. Results show that June 2018 was by far the most active month with posts about Cassper Nyovest going to the BET Awards; Bonang Matheba’s Reality Show (Being Bonang); and rapper, AKA’s album release – on June 15, were among leading topics throughout the month. June 2018 shows that over 300 000 posts were shared including, South African telenovela, The Queen, taking up much of the conversation.

Most brands have stayed away from Black Twitter for fear of coming under fire, and yet the survey reveals that early respondents think brands should interact with the community. When asked whether brands should target Black Twitter with their marketing, 73% think brands should engage with the community. Most people cited authenticity and being aware of what is happening in the community as being significant when engaging with Black Twitter. Some also believe that if brands pay attention from a distance, they are more likely to have positive human interactions outside of social media.

Above is a snippet of earlier responses from the Black Twitter survey: Provided by WordStart

Above is a snippet of earlier responses from the Black Twitter survey: Provided by WordStart

The maturity of social media in South Africa has led to people to curate their experiences, media consumption and interaction with news stories around their lives and Twitter timelines. This makes shining a lens on communities and their resultant sub-cultures evermore significant in for both brands and society as a whole. Some brands understand this and engage courageously while others fall behind.

We would love to get your opinions on Black Twitter in South Africa, which will give you early access to the summary of our findings and ensure that your views form part of the report. When the report is launched, you will also be the first to be notified. To participate, please click here: https://jo.my/bt-survey