Culture releases new report on Kiwi social media use

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AUCKLAND, Today: A new report into the social media landscape in New Zealand dispels common myths and assumptions that have been plaguing marketing planning in recent years. 

Parnell-based social media agency Culture, who took out the top spot for Australia and New Zealand’s social media agency of the year in 2022, commissioned the report with insight platform GWI to assess the latest trends in New Zealanders’ social media use and how it impacts our retail and shopping habits.

Culture head of strategy & performance Emily Ostrowska said: “Crucially, it also revealed how brands can use the data to better inform their marketing strategy. In an age of reduced budgets and hyper focus on effectiveness, this is the data marketers need in their back pocket. 

“In the current climate it’s crucial brands understand the impact of where they’re placing their marketing dollars.

“With brands tightening their belts and looking for more cost-effective channels to deliver to their marketing objectives, naturally social media is experiencing increased focus. Social commands the same daily penetration as linear TV (but with longer time spent), with Gen Z New Zealanders reportedly spending almost three hours a day – ahead of the global average.

“The way in which we’re interacting with the platforms is changing though, which has impacts for broader digital spends.

“For instance, social media ads have now overtaken search and word of mouth for brand discovery for Gen Z. This has an obvious impact for traditional search budgets and the type of social content brands create.”

“The report reveals that although we’re still using the platform to be entertained – it’s increasingly being used as part of the shopper journey. 

“This means we need to be far more intentional, and insight driven with our content. We’re working with brands to turn their rich SEO pages that would traditionally live on their website into social first content. 

“But for how much longer will Facebook remain in the top spot?”

Platform use has changed dramatically in the last 12 months, with the meteoric rise of TikTok, leapfrogging Instagram to be NZ’s second favourite platform of choice (excluding Millennials). With Baby Boomers seeing the highest growth year on year.

Facebook is still number one for most of the population, Gen Z excluded.

“But for how much longer will Facebook remain in the top spot.

“We’re seeing consistent decline across most age groups; it seems it’s not dead just yet.

“Although social media is an increasingly important part of the marketing mix, the behaviours of different audiences are nuanced and require careful consideration. Brands need to have a firm handle on their strategy – with a clear role for channels and content, or risk being left behind.

Other key findings from Culture NZ’s report include:

  • Older generations have increased their social media use. TikTok has seen the biggest growth among Baby Boomers who are now five times more likely to be using it now vs 2020.
  • Keeping in touch with loved ones remains the top motivator for social media use, most pronounced with Baby Boomers.
  • TikTok has seen growth across all generations (the only platform to do so).
  • Facebook has seen declines across all groups since 2020, as has Instagram – with the exception of Baby Boomers.
  • Short form video content is a favourite across all generations, especially Millennials.
  • Facebook is key for watching video and connecting with others through groups and events. Instagram and TikTok stand out for more active content engagement, such as creating and sharing.

Brand discovery & engagement:

  • Social media ads are the main way Gen Z discovers brands, with many influenced by UGC from friends as part of the purchase journey. They’re also the age group most likely to be clicking on ads and following brands.
  • Heavy social media users using social networks as part of their purchase journey, are 25% more likely in New Zealand to make an online purchase, and twice as likely to be ad receptive.
  • Comments on social media are a key purchase driver, especially among Gen Z. Many use social media for research, but go on to shop in-store, with Gen X most likely to do so.


Read the full report here:

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