How Australians are using social media in 2018

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Breaking down the key takeaways from the Yellow Social Media Report 2018. 

Did you know the first thing nearly 60 per cent of Australians do every day is check their social media accounts?

That’s just one of the findings in this year’s Yellow Social Media report, an annual survey of Australian consumers on how they use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

We’ve rounded up the key findings from the comprehensive report here.

Fish where the fish are 

Almost nine in 10 people (88 per cent) now have a social media profile, up from 79 per cent in 2017 and 69 per cent in 2016.

Facebook remains the most dominant platform by far, with 91 per cent of social media users maintaining a presence there.

YouTube is the second most popular platform (53 per cent), followed by Instagram (39 per cent), Snapchat (23 per cent), LinkedIn (22 per cent), Twitter (19 per cent) and Google+ (13 per cent).

Despite the hype, just 3 per cent of Australian social media users are on Tinder.

17 per cent of us have stopped using at least one social media platform in the past year, with Twitter (31 per cent) outstripping Instagram (25 per cent) and Snapchat (20 per cent) for the highest drop-off rate.

Weapon of choice 

Social media users own 3.5 internet-enabled devices on average. Smartphones are, of course, the most popular device, used by almost nine in ten adults.

A majority of online consumers also have laptops (76 per cent), tablets (59 per cent) and desktop computers (52 per cent).

Internet-enabled TVs are found in 45 per cent of households, while 21 per cent of consumers own a wearable device like an Apple Watch or Fitbit.

Back in the habit 

More than four in five Australians now use the internet at least once a day, with 60 per cent of Australians using the internet at least five times a day. The level of usage decreases gradually with age.

34 per cent of social media users check their accounts more than 5 times a day. Among 18-29 year olds, 81 per cent check in at least once a day.

On average, Facebook users spend 10 hours a week on the platform.

A time and a place

The evening (61 per cent) has narrowly edged out first thing in the morning (59 per cent) as the most popular time for using social media. 31 per cent of people make checking their social media accounts the last thing they do before they go to bed.

Almost half of us are using social media on our break (42 per cent) or at lunchtime (41 per cent). More than a third of us (35 per cent) are accessing social media at work; a number that skyrockets among those aged 18-29 (51 per cent).

The most popular place to use social media continues to be at home (94 per cent), especially in the lounge room (78 per cent), bedroom (58 per cent) and study (28 per cent).

In a result that would terrify germophobes, 20 per cent of people admitted to using social media on the toilet. That number is almost twice as high (39 per cent) among 18-29 year olds.

Other popular places to use social media include public transport (32 per cent), in restaurants, bars and parties (25 per cent) and in the car (23 per cent).

What’s my motivation?

For 85 per cent of people, social media is primarily a way of catching up with friends and family.

36 per cent of people use social media sites to catch up on news and current affairs, although traditional media (73 per cent) remains far more trusted than online outlets (16 per cent) or posts from friends (11 per cent) as a news source. That figure is changing, however, with 26 per cent of 18-29 year olds happily placing their trust in social media news sources.

A whopping 33 per cent of people admitted to reacting to something on social media that they later found out was ‘fake news’ — way up compared to last year (17 per cent).

Deep impact

The survey also measures the psychological impact of social media, with one in three people reporting that they feel excited when one of their post receives more likes on social media than usual. This number is significantly higher among 18-29 year olds (24 per cent).

11 per cent of users admit to feeling anxious when they can’t access their social media accounts, with the incidence rising to 24 per cent among 18-29 year olds.

One in five people have posted something they later came to regret on social media, a phenomenon experienced more often by women (22 per cent) than men (17 per cent).

36 per cent of users believe they spend too much time on social media, although 54 per cent believe social media has had a positive impact on how connected they feel to other people.

37 per cent believe social media has had a negative impact on their productivity, 35 per cent believe it has negatively impacted their sleep, and 47 per cent believe it has negatively impacted their privacy.

In fact, of the people that don’t use social media, 24 per cent cited security or privacy concerns as their primary reason.

Men are from Mars…

Men are more likely to use LinkedIn (28 per cent versus 17 per cent), Twitter (26 per cent versus 13 per cent) and YouTube (56 per cent versus 50 per cent) than women, while women are bigger users of Instagram (44 per cent versus 34 per cent), Snapchat (28 per cent versus 17 per cent) and Facebook (94 per cent versus 88 per cent).

Men also tend to have more LinkedIn contacts (190 versus 62), Twitter followers (211 versus 142), Instagram followers (250 versus 234) and Snapchat followers (123 versus 77) than women, while women have slightly more Facebook friends (240 versus 237) and Google+ contacts (205 versus 157).

Women use social media to catch up with family more than men do (91 per cent versus 79 per cent).

What’s my age again?

18-29 year olds are most likely to own a smartphone (94 per cent), while the 65+ demographic is most likely to own a desktop device (62 per cent).

While 55 per cent of 18-29 year olds use social networking sites more than five times a day, only 6 per cent of the 65+ age group check in that often.

While social media usage is virtually ubiquitous among 18-29 year olds (only 2 per cent never use social media), up to 33 per cent of the 65+ age group never uses social networking sites.

18-29 year olds are the most likely group to use Instagram (66 per cent), Snapchat (49 per cent), YouTube (65 per cent) and LinkedIn (25 per cent).

Brand power 

Four in ten consumers (44 per cent) are following businesses or brands on social media, a figure that’s significantly higher among females (52 per cent versus 35 per cent) and those aged 18-29 (64 per cent).

The survey also gauged the type of posts users like to see from brands on social media — discounts had a high approval rating (62 per cent), followed by giveaways (51 per cent), product information (45 per cent), tips and advice (35 per cent) and invitations to events (24 per cent).

55 per cent of users reported that they are likely to trust brands if they find their content engaging and relevant. 54 per cent said positive interactions with customers would make them more likely to trust the brand, while 54 per cent also said brands can generate trust by regularly updating their content. But beware fake followers — just 36 per cent of users said they would be impressed if a brand had a large number of social media followers.

As for what makes people stop following brands, 53 per cent of social media users cited irrelevant or unappealing content as an influential factor, followed by too much content (44 per cent) and too little content (14 per cent).

33 per cent of users said they would check out a brand’s social media presence before making their first online purchase from them, while 68 per cent said they read online reviews and blogs before shopping. Users who said they do check out reviews and blogs read an average of eight reviews before making a decision.

45 per cent of social media users said they provide online ratings, more than twice as many as 2017 (22 per cent) — so there’s a good chance your next customer interaction could result in a five-star rating if you play your cards right.

The Yellow Social Media Report also evaluated how businesses use social media — check back soon for the key findings from that report!

Source: Yellow Social Media Report 2018 Part One – Consumers

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MCM DigitalHow Australians are using social media in 2018

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