In this day and age of digital dependence and online connectivity, consumer decision-making has become…
So How Exactly Are Australians Using Their Social Media?
So how exactly are Australians using their social media?
Australians are some of the most active social media users in the world. We access social media from every kind of device, in every kind of setting, at all times of the day. Almost 80% of Australians use social media, with more than one-third of us accessing it more than five times a day.
This may sound a bit unbelievable, especially for older generations who grew up without telephones and the Internet. However, social media is at the forefront of everything we do, from business to relationships and everyday life. This makes social media use highly important for Small Businesses to understand so they can leverage it to connect with their audience.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram
At the beginning of 2019, there were approximately 22 million Australians using the internet. That’s more than 85% of the population. In terms of social media specifically, the number of active users continues to increase by an estimated 6% each year, making it an important platform for Small Businesses to be present on.
While Facebook tops the chart for having the most users, the number of people using Instagram has continued to grow at a steady pace, as has the number of people logging into LinkedIn. Facebook’s popularity also continues to grow, with around two billion users worldwide, of which approximately 16 million are in Australia.
Twitter is also a favoured choice due to the platform making it easy for users to dissect breaking news and current affairs. When it comes to Instagram, its demand lies in the fact that it’s visual. This means it’s great for small businesses for advertising, where users are likely to engage with interesting and eye-catching content.
The demographics of use
Like most things in life, social media is used slightly differently between generations. Not surprisingly, 99% of those aged between 18 and 29 are present on social media. This drops to 96% for the 30-39-year-olds, and to 86% for those in the 40-49-year-old age bracket. Interestingly, though, more than 65% of Australians aged between 50 and 64 are on social media.
Almost half of the Australian population over the age of 65 have at least one social media account. This is something Small Businesses should keep in mind when considering whether social media is the right platform for their business to use when advertising to their audience.
It’s likely that the increasing ease and ability to access social media is causing the growth in usage numbers. Approximately 90% of Australians now have direct access to a smartphone. And most people check their social media profiles on their smartphones during times like the commute on public transport to and from work.
The senior generation and social media
Almost 70% of seniors are confident they’ll be able to keep up with technology and innovation changes in the future. This means they’re embracing social media at record speed, where approximately 80% of seniors use social media, spending an average of around 12 hours per week on these platforms.
There are several reasons why the older generation is embracing social media, including:
- Keeping in touch with family and friends: Social media has brought the world closer together. While previously we would baulk at the idea of calling someone halfway across the world, seniors are now able to connect with old friends, speak to grandkids, and see photos and videos from their friends and family who are travelling at the simple click of a button.
- The health benefits: In terms of mental health, social media can help to reduce isolation and keep senior’s minds active.
- Staying up-to-date with the news: People are absorbing their information online, there’s no doubt about that. This means that a lot of breaking news is announced on social media. And seniors can access it just as quickly as the younger generation by being active on social media.
- Social media can also be a great place for seniors to find out about products or services they might be interested in. And so Small Businesses should consider this if their target audience is dominated by the older generation.
In terms of the way seniors are using social media, the most popular way to absorb information is via a smartphone, followed by a laptop and a tablet.
The statistics speak for themselves
It’s clear that social media is being embraced by every generation – young and old. The statistics speak for themselves and the reasons in support of having a social media presence are clear. So, what’s the lesson here?
If your Small Business isn’t on social media, you should consider starting a profile. While it can be daunting, once you get the hang of it, you’ll never look back.
Social media will help you understand, reach and engage with your audience in a simple and valuable way.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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