Apps including Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin

Social media has overtaken television as the preferred medium by which Maltese people prefer to watch, hear or read adverts, according to a new survey on social media usage in 2022 by consultancy firm misco.

The report, which is the fourth edition of the Social Media Usage Trends survey, found that while there was a spike during 2021 for both media, the longer-term trend shows a slight decline for television and a slight increase for social media.

The data, collected in collaboration with Ornate Group, shows that 38 per cent of respondents prefer to consume advertising on social media, whereas 34 per cent prefer television.

There was also a notable decline in the appeal of magazine advertising and an increase for email, reflecting a broader drop in the appeal of offline advertising and a simultaneous increase in the appeal of online.

Overall, 54 per cent responded they prefer to consume advertisements on online media compared to 45 per cent in 2018, while 63 per cent prefer offline media, compared to 73 per cent in 2018.

On these figures, Andrew Zammit-Manduca, founder of the Ornate Group, said: “Online marketing has now become mainstream marketing alongside with offline marketing, and these results confirm this trend.

“Businesses therefore need to devote the appropriate resources to ensure a good return on investment from their marketing expenditure.”

In terms of shopping, 76 per cent of respondents to the survey stated they shop online, representing a slight increase over last year, but a decline on the level achieved in 2020.

Looking at longer term trends, 2022 data shows an increase in online shoppers for clothing footwear and accessories, grocery products, make-up, beauty care products, healthcare products, and personal care products, car insurance and home appliances.

The purchase of airline tickets and hotel stays has not yet recovered from the restrictions related to COVID. 

Other findings from the report include that 87.5 per cent of Maltese people use the internet at least daily, while 85 per cent use social media.

Facebook is the social media most accessed, while there was also a trend reflecting increasing usage of Instagram and YouTube.

Rebecca Gera, director of misco, commented that, “The results of this year’s survey, which is the fourth wave of such a survey, could have been influenced by the coronavirus.

“However, one also notes a return to behaviours seen pre-COVID. One needs to see what future waves indicate, that is whether usage of social media will evolve into a new normal or whether it will return to pre-COVID days”.

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