According to the Yellow Pages (Sensis) Social Media Report 2012, the huge popularity of social media amongst Australian consumers is an undisputed fact. Social media has become integrated into our everyday lives and the majority of us actively use social media daily.
But, there’s still a sizeable gap between the social media strategies of Australian businesses and the behaviours of their customers; only 27% of small business, and 34% of medium business actually use social media.
This report is a really interesting insight into the ever-changing behaviour of social media users. We’ve summarised some of the main points of interest for small to medium businesses.
We think it highlights why if you are in business and want to connect with your clients and prospects, then you MUST be more active on social media. But in being more active, you need to ensure you are delivering what your market wants, and not just advertising.
Let’s start with some fast facts on social media usage:
- 97% of the social network users surveyed use Facebook
- 22% use social media to find out about brands or businesses
- 18% follow brands and businesses to access promotions and special offers
- 16% use social media to research products and services they want to buy
Although the majority of social network users stated that the primary reason for using social media was to catch up with family and friends, the top commercial reason was to follow brands and businesses to access offers and promotions.
64% of users stated that their reason for following a business on social media is to access discounts. Giveaways, product information, tips/advice and coupons are also highly sought after.
Average social media spends increased over the past year, with small businesses that use social media spending on average $3,410, compared to $16,920 for medium businesses and over $100,000 for large businesses. The amounts spent by businesses has increased strongly over the past year, with small business social media spend up on average $1360 in the past year.
A large proportion of the businesses who do invest in social media are unaware of the actual amount they’ve invested, and they don’t measure return on investment. Most measure success by the number of connections they have. However, the survey did reveal that 72% of the small businesses who do use social media believe that their investment in social media contributes to an increase in sales.
Despite investing in social media, a quarter of small businesses have no strategy to drive traffic to their social media sites. The most popular method is to put links on the business website.
Facebook continues to dominate in all three business size categories with Twitter and LinkedIn also playing important parts. Google+, Youtube and blogs are also used by a sizeable minority of businesses, particularly for large businesses.
Simon Betschel, Group Manager Emerging Business & Innovation at Sensis said “It’s clear there are huge opportunities for small and medium businesses to connect with their current and potential customers through social media. But businesses must be tactical in their use of these channels to ensure that their investment contributes to their business in the online world as well as offline”.
With social media now part of our everyday lives, it is increasingly important for businesses to understand how consumers are using it, to ensure they know what their prospects and clients want from them online, and finally, to get active and deliver on market need via social media.
Would you like to learn how to attract and connect with more customers on social media? Learn more about how we can help here.