Social Media is an essential part of the marketing mix these days. By now, everyone should be fully aware of the myriad of benefits of this relatively new communication tool. There’s the fact that it affords businesses real-time communication opportunities within minutes (not hours or days). Businesses can quickly, easily and efficiently engage directly with their clients. Social media gives you a real-time view of how you can, and should, be improving your services and product lines.
Social media enables you to engage in meaningful, two-way conversation with your target market, potential clients, employees, and other stakeholders. (Remember: you should be using social for conversational purposes, not to simply broadcast your own messages. So, pose questions, elicit interaction, ask for feedback.)
Not only that, social media is the perfect tool to increase the exposure of your business and brand recognition, increase traffic to your website (and therefore potential leads), improve your search engine ranking, and possibly increase sales.
Given all the possibilities and benefits that social media has to offer, the next question is often: on which social media channel should I focus? This question can be difficult to answer. It requires consideration of a number of factors:
- What social media channel is your target market frequenting most regularly?
- What sort of products or services do you have on offer?
- What sort of content will you be distributing via social media?
- Will you run an integrated social media campaign, across a number of social media platforms? Or will you just focus on one platform?
- What is your budget (both monetary and man hours) for social media?
All of these are internally focused factors, questions about your own business and how you operate. While answering these questions is vital, it is also important to consider external influences when planning and budgeting for your social media campaign. The biggest external factor is social media traffic and user behaviour. That’s where we come in!
With the help of some excellent data from www.SocialMediaNews.com.au , we’ve undertaken an analysis of the changes in the Australian social media landscape over the last 12 months, from a statistical point of view. Here’s a handy little reference chart, based this excellent data from www.SocialMediaNews.com.au:
Please click on the image below to view a larger version
Australian Social Media Statistics Round Up
We’ve compared year-on-year Australian social media statistics for the month of March. Some of our findings were quite surprising. Others were to be expected. Here’s our roundup:
Facebook is Still Number One
Despite recent reports that the popularity of Facebook is dwindling (particularly in the tween age bracket), Australian user statistics indicate that it is still the most used social media platform, with 13.2 million unique users per month. Not only that, it is still experiencing growing user levels, with a 14% increase when figures for March 2014 are compared to the same month in 2013.
YouTube Isn’t Too Far Behind
YouTube remains the second most popular social media platform in Australia with 12.6 million users in March 2014. Its growth rate is very similar to Facebook, coming in at 14% year-on-year. YouTube and Facebook are, far and away, the most popular and most regularly used social media platforms in Australia.
WordPress.com (and Tumblr) is Making a Play for Popularity
Of all the social media platforms, WordPress.com is the fastest growing. Over the last 12 months, WordPress.com experienced 117% growth. That’s huge! Tumblr wasn’t too far behind, with a whopping 80% growth in the last 12 months. Users seem to be moving away from Blogspot (which experience a 3% dive in usage rates) and the like, towards WordPress.com and Tumblr.
Twitter Keeps on Keeping On
While Twitter only has a meagre 2.5 million active users per month in Australia (not that many when compared to the likes of Facebook, YouTube, WordPress and even LinkedIn), its usage rates do continue to grow. In fact, over the last year, Twitter usage rates increased by 15%.
The nature of Twitter makes it a very different beast to many of the other social media platforms: news often breaks on Twitter, and the hard-core social media adopters tend to be extremely active on this micro-blogging platform. If you decide not to include Twitter in your social media program, you should (at the very least) be monitoring Twitter activity related to your industry.
LinkedIn and Instagram are on the Rise (Slowly)
Snapchat and Trip Advisor Now Rate A Mention
These two social media channels weren’t even blips on the horizon in March 2013. Fast-forward a year, and each has managed to outrank some of the regular social media favourites. Snapchat has over 1.07 million active users in Australia, while Trip Advisor had over 1.4 million Australian visitors in the month of March.
Pinterest and MySpace Might be Dead
Before all you Pinterest and MySpace fans start jumping up and down, please note that we said might. They might be dead (and only in Australia). You just never know with social media – one fantabulous software update and you can be kicking goals! This year though, their statistics tell a sorry story; Pinterest dropped by 35% and MySpace plummeted by 40%.
Globally, the numbers tell a very different story. From a global perspective, Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media networks, recording an 88% growth rate in 2013 (Source: Jeff Bullas).
Aussies Aren’t Really Sure About Google+
Usage of Google+ dropped by 80% to just 65,000 unique users per month in March 2014. 65,000. For Google’s whizz-bang social media platform. That means that, in Australia, Facebook has 20,000% more users than Google+. The funny thing is, the Google+ statistics are very different when you analyse them from a global perspective. Apparently, Facebook still dominates at 70% of account ownership, but Google+ isn’t really that far behind, at 50% (Source: Jeff Bullas).
It is essential to keep in mind that Google+ is so much more than just a social media platform. It is an identity authentication service. With Google operating the leading search platform, and a variety of other popular services (like Gmail and YouTube), Google+ is one to watch.
So, what does all that mean for you? If you have a limited social media budget, focus on the social media platforms that are most popular in Australia: Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. Just keep in mind that, because they are more popular, you will be up against more noise. You might need to work a bit harder to stand out from the crowd.
Sharing on Google+ (with its identity authentication functionality and high beneficial links to the world’s most popular search engine) in addition to the four most platforms just makes sense.
Feeling a bit daunted? Not sure that you can handle all that social media activity with limited time and limited resources? Then take a look at platforms like Buffer and Hootsuite. These two platforms enable you to publish across multiple social media accounts, across multiple social media platforms. Buffer and Hootsuite streamline the social media process, making publishing easy and efficient.