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eMarketer estimates that this year, 68% of internet users in Australia will access social networks at least once per month. And research shows that Australia’s web users are only becoming more engaged by social networking.
According to a survey from the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) and Yellow Pages, the percentage of internet users who said they logged on to social sites at least once a day rose substantially between 2012 and 2013, from 36% to 45%. Moreover, the percentages who said they logged on once a week, less than weekly or not at all dropped slightly.
Broader uptake of mobile is likely encouraging Australia’s social networkers to log on more often. The study found that the percentage of social media users who accessed their accounts on smartphones and tablets rose substantially this year. Sixty-seven percent of social users surveyed accessed their accounts via smartphone in 2013, up from 53% last year. And social usage on the tablet nearly doubled, from 18% in 2012 to 35% in 2013.
In addition, this year, the percentage of users accessing via the desktop or laptop actually dropped.
Social media use in Australia continues to be firmly concentrated on Facebook, with 95% of networkers on the social media giant this year. But that percentage is actually a slight decline from 2012, while LinkedIn and Twitter were able to increase their audiences. LinkedIn gained 4 percentage points, to reach 20% of social users. Twitter made a minimal 1 percentage point gain to 15% of users.
Given the slight decline of Facebook users, it seems that, alongside the rise of mobile, interest in smaller networks is also drawing users to spend more time on social sites.
On average for 2013, social media users reported spending 18 minutes per visit on Facebook, 10 minutes on LinkedIn and 9 minutes on Twitter.
With such a vast and engaged social audience in Australia, businesses in the country have plenty of incentive to participate on these sites. However, the study found that 39% of small businesses, 18% of medium-sized businesses and 20% of large businesses invested no money in social outreach. The data suggests that those who ignore social media are passing up a significant opportunity to reach consumers.
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