By Adam Fraser
With the major social networks all residing overseas, it can be challenging to source Australian specific social media data.
Hence my delight at the smörgåsbord of information packed into the recently released Sensis Social Media Report – How Australian people and businesses are using social media.
I encourage you to dive into the full report if you love your data, but for those without the time to review 65 pages, here are some key highlights:
- Australian businesses are still lagging underlying media usage trends: while 68% of consumers use social media sites (50% check social media every day rising to 79% of 18-29 year olds), only 33% of businesses have a social media presence. This misalignment is consistent with a trend highlighted in the Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report 2015. Of the 32% of consumers who don’t use social media, the results are heavily skewed to the over 50s; only 15% of 18-29 year olds said they never used social
- A lack of maturation is still evident in business use of social media, with 80% of SMEs and 37% of large businesses having no social media strategic plan, and only 16% of SMEs and 29% of larger enterprises measuring the ROI on their social efforts
- Facebook dominated usage of the surveyed consumers with 93% using this platform followed by LinkedIn (28%), Instagram (26%), Google+ (23%) and Twitter (17%). (the Google+ number definitely surprised on the upside and Twitter perhaps on the downside). The use of visual platforms (Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr) skewed heavily to the under 30s
- The most common times for Australians to be checking social media is first thing in the morning (45% of users) and last thing at night before bed (41% of users)
- The typical Australian user spends 8.5 hours per week on Facebook; interestingly in terms of the length of individual user sessions on each network, Pinterest had the highest result, showing what an engaging platform it is (and consistent with global analysis)
- Smartphones remain by far the most popular device for checking social networks, with 70% using a smartphone, followed by laptop (52%) and tablet (34%); 75% access the sites via only via an app, versus only 14% checking via only the actual website
- Something that should be obvious but is often misunderstood was emphasised by this report: 92% quote “catching up with family and friends” as a reason for using social media (ie the social bit) vs 20% who said they use social to “follow brands to access offers and promotions” (as I previously discussed brands should primarily be listening not shouting in this environment)
- In terms of what consumers want from brands on social, an interesting stat was that 34% said “nothing”. I would interpret this as a “speak when you are spoken to” sentiment – if consumers want something from a brand they will ask. A somewhat startling 55% of consumers said they take no notice of ads on social media sites, while 72% ignore sponsored posts
- Encouragingly, the most common use for businesses to be on social is to have a 2 way communication system (67% of SMEs, 84% large businesses). The trend for businesses of all sizes to use social media to advertise is noticeably increasing with nearly half of large businesses paying to advertise on social (Facebook by far the most popular platform)
- Very few Australian businesses outsource their social media management with 90% managing in house (most typically the marketing department)
The take out from the take outs – Facebook dominates thinking across the board, many businesses have a way to go before truly maturing their social media strategies and outsourcing is clearly not a popular option in this area.