By Adam Fraser
The Sensis Social Media Report for 2017 has been released. It’s a report I look forward to as – as I have previously discussed in 2016 and 2015 – there are lots of stats about global social media usage, but limited stats specific to Australia.
Sensis surveys 800 consumers and 1100 businesses in Australia about their social media usage across a broad range of metrics; the final reports are comprehensive, this year split into separate reports for the findings on consumers and businesses.
There are stats and insights aplenty from the report, but here are 12 highlights for those without the time to read all 56 pages of the whole document:
- Almost eight out of ten of Australians are now on social media. Penetration is up 10% to 79% (from 69% in 2016) of Australians, an incredible growth rate when many would possibly assess social as having hit maturity.
- The age splits are fascinating, with social almost universal amongst 18-29 year olds (99% penetration) compared to 40-49 year olds (86%) and 65+ (47%).
- A new question this year showed the growing importance of messaging platforms, with 88% of social media users also using messaging; Facebook Messenger was the dominant platform of choice with 81% of users; surprisingly WhatsApp penetrated only 18%.
- Mobiles are the most popular device (81% own v 76% last year), having eclipsed laptops (59% own v 70% last year) – accordingly, social networks are most often accessed via a mobile device (81%) versus a laptop (30%) and tablet (25%).
- 59% of social media users check social networks daily (up from 50% last year), with 35% (up from 26% last year) checking in more than 5 times per day.
- Facebook is by far the most popular social network with 94% of users accessing it; by comparison penetration for Instagram is 46% (up from 31% last year), Snapchat 40% (up from 22%), Twitter 32% (up from 19%) and LinkedIn 18% (down from 24%) .The growth in Twitter and the decline in Linkedin were notable.
- Snapchat users are the most frequent users of any platform (41.7 times/week versus 25 times/week for Facebook); next ranked are Twitter (39.6 times/week) and Instagram (37.7 times/week)
- The average number of friends/contacts on each of the platforms is Facebook (234), Twitter (260), Instagram (258), LinkedIn (199), Google Plus (59) and Snapchat (53) – an average total of 469 across all 6 platforms (increase vs 409 last year).
- 68% of mobile users access social networks via an app only compared to only 9% using a website only (23% use both).
- 35% of users are on social media while watching TV, with the 40-49 year old demographic the most likely to do this and 18-29 year olds the least likely.
- The primary reason (by some distance) people are on social media is to “catch up with family and friends” (89%) – something brands always need to remember! – with sharing photos/videos (57%) and watching videos (43%) the next most common reasons.
- 16% of users use social media to research a product prior to purchase – the most popular products researched were electrical goods, furniture and clothing/fashion.
A hugely comprehensive piece of research on the Australian social media landscape, and having prepared the research since 2012, a good indicator of trends over time. Well worth a read and a great reference doc.