Well done if you’re using social media to connect and communicate with your customers. You’re ahead of the majority of your competitors who haven’t woken up to the fact that this is how people communicate and research these days.
The June release of the annual Sensis report on the social media landscape in Australia highlighted some exciting trends.
Here’s our synopsis of the stats we feel need a closer look at, along with our take on the possible implications for business owners.
Australia is online every day
99% of Australians have an internet-enabled device, most people have three, and 76% of people use their smartphones to access the internet. 87% of them are online every day.
Implications for business owners?
If your website has not yet been redesigned to be “responsive”, then you’re not providing a good user experience to the majority of your web visitors. Responsive means it automatically resizes to fit the screen of a phone or table, so that the user does not have to “pinch” or scroll left and right to view your content.
Not having a responsive website could affect your enquiries or sales, and your position in search engine results for your keywords, as mobile optimised has become an important factor in the Google SEO algorithm.
Nearly half of Australia is on social media every day
Around 50% (9 million Australians older than 14) are using social media at least once a day and 4 million use it more than 5 times a day.
These people have around 409 friends or contacts across all their social media networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Google+), with the average number of friends on Facebook being 272.
As you can see from the time of day, most people are accessing social media first thing in the morning and straight after work.
Half of Australia is active on social media every day and is actively engaging on Facebook. Mornings and after work are the best times to post to reach the most number of people.
Where do they socialise?
Facebook dominates in terms of usage with 95% of social networkers maintaining a Facebook profile It is used by more than 90% of males and females, in each age group and across all Australian locations. In the NT it is used by 100% of people who are online.
Facebook is by far the most popular platform, with Instagram (owned by Facebook) taking over LinkedIn’s place as second, this year, mainly for under 40s.
Although most online socialising is done at home, people (especially those under 40) are also active at work and in public places. Gyms have made it onto the list this year for the first time.
If your target market is under 40, you need to be on Facebook and Instagram. If you you’re after the young 18-29 yo market – also look at Snapchat and Twitter.
What do they use social media for?
The majority of people use social media for catching up with family and friends – no surprises there. However, they also use it for other purposes – like checking up on news, finding out about particular brands businesses and products, accessing special offers and researching events, products and services.
When we drill down on the research and purchasing habits, there has been a 10% increase this year over last year in conducting product/service research and 71% of people continue to make a purchase when research is done.
Around 36% of people follow businesses and brands on social media, up from 32% last year.
The table below shows what they want from businesses and brands.
There appears to be plenty of opportunity for businesses to engage with followers on social media and generate leads and purchases through special offers.
Do people take notice of social media advertising?
Although a slight majority (53%) reported that they take no notice of social media ads, this has come down from 69% in 2014 and 55% last year. Likewise, most ignore sponsored posts from businesses they don’t follow, but this incidence has fallen from 72% to 67%. Four in ten will inspect a brand’s social media presence before making an online purchase if they have not previously purchased from that brand’s website.
It’s impossible to please everyone, that’s a given. But there is a growing acceptance, even welcoming, of ads on Social Media, making it a worthwhile activity to incorporate into your business or tradie marketing strategy. It certainly is the fastest-growing advertising medium of all and one that is working well for a lot of companies who take the time to trial it. It certainly is a proven way to generate page likes and therefore increase the reach of your company posts.
How can businesses build trust?
The number of followers a brand has on social media sites does not always influence trust, but it does make a difference to some social media users (30%). What’s more important is content and engagement – this is what builds trust.
If you’re going to use Social Media platforms, you do need to keep adding relevant content and interact with customers and followers. It’s a two-way conversation – not one-way like traditional advertising.
Online reviews and blogs
Most Australian Internet users (60%) read online reviews or blogs, and are likely to look at up to five reviews before making a decision. Experiences at hotels and motels or restaurants and bars prove to be the subject of most reviews, with the average number posted in the last year being 14 – almost double the 2015 average of 8.
If you’re not generating online reviews of your business, or regularly publishing blog posts, you are ignoring a very important decision-making factor when it comes to how people decide whether to contact you or buy from you, particularly in Queensland.
If you manage the marketing for any kind of public gathering place – like a restaurant, bar, hair salon, shopping centre, gym or sporting venue – then social media is a major marketing channel for you and you need to be promoting your venue via social media.
How we help with social media
Even if you’re not a big fan of social media yourself - the fact is that you can no longer afford to ignore the surge in social media platforms as a serious sphere of influence and preferred method of communication.
Not sure about your website’s responsiveness? Contact us if you would like help with assessing your website and to get a quote for redesigning it to be responsive
Want to get on Social Media? We have two low-cost packages to get you set up with a professional-looking presence on relevant social media platforms. Our Social Media Setup Services.
If you’d like to try social media marketing, contact us for details of the various types of done-for-you campaigns we can help you with – including Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
If you manage a venue where people gather (café, club, pub, sporting venue, shopping mall etc), contact us for details on how you can significantly increase social following, social reach, communications and reviews.