Australians and social media
As consumers become increasingly fragmented in how they engage with both traditional and social media, it is apparent businesses must quickly adapt
their presence online to establish and nurture new communities and connect with them in authentic ways.
Almost 50% of consumers now access social media every day (and up to 79% for the 18-29 age group), yet only 31% of SME businesses actively operate a social media engagement strategy. Ratings and reviews should be a major focus for businesses online. They can play an important role in increasing customer satisfaction and retention, with 62% of people open to changing their opinion of a business if it responds to negative feedback on social media.
Australians continue to embrace technology through use of multiple internet enabled devices. The average Australian owns three such devices with laptops (75%), smartphones (70%) and tablets (55%) most prevalent. The way we connect continues to evolve with social media still playing a significant role in many people’s lives. 68% of internet users have a social media profile and they mainly use it to catch up with friends and family. It’s becoming more prevalent in our daily lives as a majority (70%) are using their smartphone to access it (mainly through an app). Hence it is not surprising that the frequency of use is increasing – 24% check in more than 5 times a day which is up from 19% – but overall use appears to have plateaued as there has been no growth in social media use relative to last year when 69% had a social media profile.
Facebook continues to dominate the social media space, capturing 93% of users and they spend an average of eight and a half hours a week on the site. Quite a few have profiles on LinkedIn (28%), Instagram (26%) and Google+ (23%) with use of each platform continuing to grow.
Social media is a forum which is generally used for browsing and many consumers check in to keep their ‘finger on the pulse’, giving them a real time perspective of what is happening around them. This provides businesses with huge potential to engage and interact with the public.
From a commercial perspective, a solid minority of Australians who use this media follow brands and businesses (32%), access offers and promotions (20%) or conduct research about products and services they want to buy (19%) which means they are willing to engage. In fact, half of those who are using social media to research products and services said they made a purchase and two thirds of them made that purchase online.
Therefore, it remains paramount for businesses and marketers to establish a connection by engaging with them in a meaningful way if they want to capitalise on this opportunity.