Australian ranks fourth worldwide in social media penetration – behind only the US, Canada and South Korea. A total of 9.8 million Australians (44% of the total population) are predicted to be on social media in 2012, according to an eMarketer estimate. Businesses are rapidly moving to engage consumers in this space, and many social media users are welcoming their presence.
The Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) and Yellow Pages released the “Yellow Social Media Report” in June 2012, revealing that larger businesses in Australia were most likely to have a social media presence (79%) vs. only 34% of medium-sized businesses, and 27% of small businesses.
Facebook was the most popular social network among businesses with a presence on social media. Twitter was also popular, particularly among large businesses, with 71% reporting a presence.
These numbers are particularly interesting in comparison to the Fortune Global 100; among those large companies, Twitter and YouTube were more popular social platforms than Facebook.
Facebook also dominates for Australian consumers, with 97% of social media users accessing the social network. However, LinkedIn use has nearly doubled, growing from 9% to 16% in the past year, and Twitter use increased at a similar rate, from 8% to 14% in the past year.
How do social media users feel about businesses advertising on social media? Nearly half (48%) “never really notice ads” on social networking sites. An impressive 44% are “quite happy” to see ads on social networking sites. Nearly 3 in 10 (29%) sometimes click on ads on social networking sites, while 26% are “turned off” by brands that use advertising on social networks.
Only 16% of social media users use social networks for researching products; but out of those who did research a product on social networks, 40% led to a purchase (either online or off-line).
Australian social media users engaging with businesses are most interested in:
- discounts (64%)
- giveaways (54%)
- product information (48%)
- tips and advice (41%)
- coupons (41%)
And businesses are taking note: discounts and giveaways were the most popular incentives offered. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of small businesses offered discounts to their followers, while large businesses preferred using giveaways (48%) over discounts (29%).
The Yellow Social Media Report surveyed 1016 Australian consumers and 1951 Australian businesses to see how social media channels are used.