Social cloud statistics Australia and how Australian people and businesses are using social media.
Devices used to access social media
Smartphones are still clearly the favoured device for social networking. Seven in ten social media users view their accounts on a smartphone, consistent with last year. Over half (52%) use laptops to check in but they aren’t as popular for social media as in 2012 (69%). Tablet usage is solid but slightly lower (34% compared with 39% in 2014) while desktops are slowly going out of fashion with their use for social networking more than halved since 2011 (60% down to 28%). They are more popular for older users, especially those aged 65+, while mobile devices are the norm for many aged under 65.
Most are accessing social media on their mobile devices via apps (75%) rather than the website (14%) and those using apps has increased relative to last year (70%). Around one in ten check in using both avenues but most prefer using an app (67%).
Among internet users, 68% use social media
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.
24% check in more than 5 times a day with 70% using their smartphone to access it. 49% of Australians use social networking sites at least once a day.
Facebook continues to stand out as the dominant social media platform, but some growth in LinkedIn, Snapchat and Instagram this year are showing a diversity of social engagement across multiple platforms. With this complexity it’s even more important for businesses to understand social media and its opportunities.
80% of SMEs and 37% of large businesses have not developed
a strategic plan for their social media.
Only 16% of SMEs and 29% of large businesses measure
their return on investment in social media.
Sensis Social Media Report 2015
Cloud computing blogs and reviews continue to influence
Cloud Blogs and reviews continue to influence buying decisions, with over half of social media users (55%) reading reviews before making a purchase, which is less prevalent than the past few years. Most who read reviews look at up to 5 before making a decision. However, there remains just over a quarter of online users who post blogs or reviews (27%) and their shared experiences can influence potential buyer’s decisions.
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. For example, stories about the brand or its product and services, shared in a compelling format (i.e. video or imagery) help to establish a positive connection. This added complexity means it’s even more important for businesses to understand social media opportunities.
Social media in the cloud allows for activity everywhere
Important to note that, this year’s numbers continue to show more social media activity away from the home in places such as at work, in transit and at restaurants and cafes. This highlights the even greater opportunities for businesses to engage through social media at critical buying moments.
Nearly all businesses using social media have a Facebook profile and only a few are using Twitter and LinkedIn. These platforms are more common in medium or large businesses. Instagram is becoming more popular and is around 10% in use compared with 6% last year. Nine in ten manage profiles internally rather than outsource and is mainly undertaken by the business owner in small businesses or the marketing department for medium or large businesses.
Larger businesses tend to update their profiles more frequently and many are seeking feedback or comments then engaging with them. This appeals to consumers to some degree but they tend to be seeking tangible incentives like discounts or coupons. However not many businesses are offering these which could be a missed opportunity.
Research by Sensis: Reasons for not using social media
Social media offers opportunities
Nevertheless, most are seeking to drive traffic to their profiles by including links to social media on their website or by following other social media sites. Some businesses (25%) are trying to engage the public through paid advertising. The larger the business, the more likely they have advertised. Looking forward, it remains apparent that a social media presence is associated with more positive assessments of business performance.
The social media space continues to offer real opportunities for businesses seeking to better engage with customers and potential customers however quite a few are missing out on this opportunity by not having any presence. Businesses using social media should have a strategy and invest the necessary time, money and resources implementing it and measuring its effectiveness.
TV and social networking
Just over a third of users check in while watching television but this is fewer than last year. This behaviour is more common for females and under 50s. News and current affairs are still the most popular programs people watch while social networking, and this has become more prevalent in the past two years.
Social networking sites we’ve stopped using
14% of those who use social media reported ceasing use of some sites this past year, which shows little change from prior years (11% in 2014 and 12% in 2013). Of those, Twitter continues to lose the most users, with 39% deleting their profile (45% in 2014) followed by Facebook and Snapchat.
Time spent on social networking sites
The average time spent on Facebook has been around 17-18 minutes per visit since 2012. Multiplying average time spent by average number of usage occasions shows that the typical user spends over 8.5 hours per week on the site, which is similar to last year. Looking at other social media sites, users tend to spend more time on Pinterest than Facebook, reflecting that this is a highly visual, browsing-based platform. The average time spent on LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter is around 8-10 minutes, consistent with previous years.
The average number of social media friends and followers decreased
from 328 to 297 as did the average proportion
seeing them face to face in the past year (44% to 39%).
Sensis Social Media Report 2015
Number of friends, contacts or followers
Across all social networking users, the average number of friends, contacts or followers in 2015 was 297. This is lower than last year but higher than prior years. Over half (56%) of all social media users claimed to have more than 100 contacts in their network, which is consistent with last year.
Social media and brands
About a third of social media users follow businesses or brands via social media and this has remained fairly consistent since 2013. Gender differences this year were marginal but those aged under 30 are now clearly the most avid brand followers on social media. It’s more common for SA and NSW residents to follow brands or businesses compared to other states.
How businesses measure success of their social media investment
Only a minority of businesses measure their social media ROI and this is more common for medium and large businesses. Those who do monitor this business activity tend to look at response numbers, sources of brand awareness and sales. Some use automated analytical tools to assist with this task.
Most could not quote a percentage figure estimating what their return has been so far but for those who knew, around 12% in each segment estimated their return was above 10%.
An assessment of what constitutes a successful social media strategy is somewhat subjective but most businesses look at the number of people engaging with them and also try to measure its impact on the bottom line.
Do businesses have a strategic plan for social media?
Most SMEs do not have a social media strategy although a plan is more common as business size increases. Furthermore, a significantly greater proportion of SMEs using social media are actively seeking business growth in the future and their social media strategy is most likely an important component of this desired growth.
While SMEs have their own measures of success for social media strategies, it is interesting to compare SMEs with a social media presence against those without on a wide range of economic indicators.
The March 2015 Sensis Business Index found 49% of SMEs were confident about their business prospects for the year ahead (similar to the November 2014 result of 51%). However, slightly more SMEs with a social media presence indicated confidence (54%) than those who do not use social media (47%).
Where are social networking sites used?
32% At work
26% On public transport
21% Restaurants, bars, parties
19% In the car
16% At sporting events
15% At school or college
Sensis Social Media Report 2015
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