Sensis & sensibility: Social Media & Business in 2016
Another year begets another Sensis Social Media Report, so if you’re managing the social media profile for your business, thinking about starting, or you just want further proof that social media is taking over the world, then have a read of our Sensis Social Media Report Summary for 2016.
It was revealed by socialmedianews.com.au that there are 15 million Facebook users in Australia in 2016. When you include the participation rates of all other social media platforms, you’re left with 69% of all Australians having an active presence on social media. Whilst this is a pretty staggering figure, it’s not nearly as huge as the fact that Australians are spending 12.5 hours on average per week scrolling through Facebook’s social sphere. Thought you were a Facebook fiend in 2015? Well our Facebook frolicking nation is spending 4 more hours every week on the social media platform in 2016 than we were in 2015.
But let’s move on to how these figures can help you make the most of your social media presence. We know that Facebook is massive in Australia - but does it actually mean anything for your business? The Sensis report has revealed that the social media bandwagon now seats 48% of small medium businesses, compared with 31% last year. It also revealed that 43% of small medium businesses are now on Twitter. But if you aren’t motivated to up your social game by hearing about the online behaviours of other businesses, then perhaps you would like to hear from Australian consumers...
The Sensis 2016 report highlighted that 52% of consumers are more likely to trust your brand if your business interacts positively on social media. Furthermore, 42% of consumers indicated that they inspect the social media page of your business before making any purchase decisions if they haven’t bought from your business before. Finally, if you think it’s just enough to simply be present on social media and to not put effort in creating positive interactions with your customers, you may be interested to know that 58% of consumers look at up to 5 reviews of your business/product/service before making a purchase decision.
Okay, so these figures have largely been depicting what’s happening currently in the social media sphere. You may be wondering “what can I do for the future?...” The Sensis report has released data that illuminates several areas of opportunity for small medium business owners. The report indicated that only 20% of small businesses with a social media presence actually paid to advertise, with 27% for medium businesses. This is an area of growth for small medium businesses which can and should be capitalised upon at every opportunity. The small proportion of businesses that do utilise paid social media advertising are largely doing so blindly, with only 36% of medium sized businesses admitting that they have a strategic social media plan. This is on top of the fact that only 21% of small businesses and 27% of medium businesses measure their Return on Investment in social media. In light of this, it can be concluded that the majority of social media activity that’s being carried out by small-medium businesses is largely lacking structure.
When you have 15 million Facebook users scrolling through endless News Feeds of potential advertising space multiple times a day, a strategic social media plan coupled with a sensible and measured ad spend could well be the catalyst for your business to grab this social media bull by its horns.
Endless figures and statistics aside, whilst we all know that social media is continuing to grow as the juggernaut that it is, it’s important to look to the future to evaluate how past trends can inform business decisions to come. We only have to look at internet usage patterns in 2002 (where only 9.1% of the WORLD used the internet, where it took 16 seconds to download one webpage and where Internet Explorer was the browser of choice for 95% of people) to realise that the online environment is uncontrollably susceptible to rapid change. In light of this, we are left with a need, and ultimately, a responsibility to be able to adapt and make the most of opportunities as they are presented. In the context of 2016 and the latest Sensis report, this entails recognising that most businesses on the whole are not investing the time that they should be in their social media plan and as a result of this, dollars are being wasted. Once you add up the now, the consumer and the next, you are left with the opportunity, which Sensis this year has told us, comes in the form of structured and strategic social media ad spend.