How Australians are using social media

Tracy Steffensen

Australia’s population is now estimated to be around 24 million. More than 13 million are estimated to be active social media users, up from 10.9 million in 2013.

As a business owner, it would be wise to find out how many of these are potential customers. What channels or networks are they using? How do they use these channels? In today’s marketing environment, businesses need to continually find new ways to grow and engage with potential customers and quantify their marketing investments.

To help you get started on generating new ideas, here’s a snapshot of the social media usage of Australians:

  • 2015 saw slightly fewer Australians active in social media. However, there was an increase in the amount of time Aussies spent on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. (Source: 2015 Sensis Social Media Report)
  • Facebook users now spend the equivalent of a full working day on Facebook each week, averaging 8.5 hours on the site. (Source: 2015 Sensis Social Media Report)
  • During August 2015, more than one-third (35%) of time spent by Australians on their smartphones was social networking, followed by entertainment (16%) and gaming (12%). (Source: Nielsen)
  • 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%). (Source: Nielsen)
  • The number of Australians accessing social media at the beginning of the day has also risen this year (up from 43% to 45%). (2015 Sensis Social Media Report)
  • The most popular times to check in are first thing in the morning (45%) and just before bed (41%). (2015 Sensis Social Media Report)
  • There is more social media activity away from the home in places such as at work (up from 21% to 32%), in transit and even at restaurants and cafes. (2015 Sensis Social Media Report)
  • 62% of people are open to changing their opinion of a business if it responds to negative feedback on social media. (2015 Sensis Social Media Report)
  • 68% of female internet users in Australia use Facebook each day, compared to 58% of their male counterparts. (EY Sweeney 2015)
  • LinkedIn usage remains higher among males, those working full time and higher income earners. (2015 Sensis Social Media Report)
  • Visual platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr continue to appeal more to the younger age demographics; usage is much lower in over 30s. (2015 Sensis Social Media Report)
  • Males use Twitter more than females whilst Pinterest is far more appealing to the latter. (2015 Sensis Social Media Report)
  • Facebook is the option for people who want to keep up-to-date with friends and family (84%) as well as to communicate with the same people (73%). Others turn to Instagram when they want to share stories, photos or news about themselves (55%), and to Twitter when they wanted to learn about topics or general knowledge (52%). (EY Sweeney 2015)

What this means for your business

Although broad and not specific to your business, this  data represents a wealth of information you can use to develop a strong social media engagement strategy. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Know where your target audience is actually spending time. If you are just starting out in social media, focus first on one to two channels. Anything more can be overwhelming.
  • Create and share more relevant content particularly in Facebook where there are more eyeballs.
  • The best time to post content or show your social media sponsored ads to your target audience is first thing in morning and just before bed.
  • Posting daily content or updates should be strategic. Plan accordingly.
  • Trivia and news is more suitable for Twitter users and men. Whilst images and graphics are best shared in Instagram and Pinterest, especially if your target audience is women.
  • Don’t take customer complaints for granted. Respond quickly and avoid a canned response. Communicate in a friendly tone and offer a solution(s), if needed.
  • Find out what your target market is doing whilst they are using their mobile devices. Serve them with relevant content so you stay top of the mind.
  • Increase your social media reach to people on the go.

Whatever channel or network you choose, make sure to tailor your content based on how people use the channel. Also don’t forget to coordinate your social media efforts to push people to your website where they can buy your product or service or read more of your content.

Social media is a continuously evolving phenomenon as is consumer behaviour. You must adapt quickly to these changes and develop authentic ways to connect with your target audience and engage them at critical buying moments.

We are here to help you with your social media marketing. Get in touch with us!

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