Ljiljana Ivošević, Regional Strategic Director At UM

It’s All About The Moments

How we communicate on social media has never been more important, for ourselves, for brands or for politicians. This constant change inspired UM to launch the largest global social media research 12 years ago, with a clear aim: to track user growth and growth in the importance of the new media phenomenon. Naturally, along with the growth of social media grew our desire to understand them better and learn how to help grow our clients’ brands

Ljiljana Ivošević, Regional Strategic Director at UM Agency, explains: “Wave 1, launched in 2006, primarily focused on the evident rapid growth of social media users who communicate online.

From one ‘Wave’ to another, we covered different topics: how social media changed form from predominantly textual to audio-visual, as their significance in shaping the opinions of groups of peers and colleagues strengthened, as did the need of users to communicate with brands on social networks etc.

Wave 9 research was conducted in 78 markets, with 52,326 respondents representing 1.5 billion active internet users – those who use the Internet every day or every other day, and influence the growth and development of social media; those who adopt platforms and tools, and ultimately decide which will be dominant.

In Wave 9, as the name “The Meaning of Moments” suggests, we are dealing with the detection of moments in which our consumer is most receptive to our communication and we learn how to make our communication more relevant at that moment.

“Wave 9 reveals, for example, which moments are most relevant to the communication of cosmetic brands, which media channels the target group uses when requiring information about products, which online platforms to use at those moments and on which devices. Furthermore, Wave reveals how the target group feels at those moments and what it needs to be satisfied, which is extremely important information for creating specific communication. We can now analyse these moments and find out which are more frequent or intense than others. On the basis of this data, we choose the channels (and devices) and adjust the communication. Wave 9 provided us with 9 categories of such data and over 200 related moments. All these moments are implemented in the agency’s Moments Tool, which we use in the strategic planning and optimisation of media plans,” adds Ivošević.

Facebook is still the # 1 social network, used daily by 83% of active internet users, but the number of so-called Facebook-nevers users is on the rise. Instagram, however, is the fastest growing network with users up to the age of 35: from 26% of those who used it at least once a week in Wave 8 to 53% in Wave 9


Regional data related to media consumption isn’t surprising. Online channels are the best when we want to communicate with friends and share our experiences, television is mainly used for entertainment and relaxation, print media still fulfils our needs for information, although their role has been primarily taken over by their digital editions.

The Smartphone is undoubtedly the dominant device. However, larger screens (PC & laptop) remain our first choice when we want to consume longer texts and videos, learn or research. The Smartphone prevails when we need some information instantaneously, and it also largely takes on our digital social life.

Messengers are the fastest growing communication channel: from 53% in Wave 8 to 69% in Wave 9. This is the platform which experts predicted would fail due to the emergence of “lucrative” social networks, but it returned integrated into larger social platforms and clearly reflected our need to react instantaneously and receive instant responses.


Snapchat recorded 40% growth in the number of users aged under 24 in the region, from 30% in 2015 to 42% in 2017.

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