By Grant Shepherd
According to recent research by The Nielson Company, Australians are using social media sites more than ever. An encouraging statistic for retailers and suppliers is that a growing number of consumers are now interacting with companies and brands via this medium.
Nielson highlighted that Facebook is currently the number one social media site in Australia, with 75 per cent of internet users visiting the site. This is followed by YouTube with 70 per cent and Wikipedia with 65 per cent. Other popular sites include MySpace with 48 per cent and Twitter with 34 per cent.
According to Melanie Ingrey, research director for Nielson’s online business, nearly two in five online Australians are open to engaging with brands and companies online.
“The opportunities for brands and companies to tap into the social media phenomenon are really just beginning to emerge and to date we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg,” she said.
“Incredibly, nearly nine in 10 (86 per cent) of Australian’s online are looking to their fellow internet users for opinions and information about products, services and brands, and Australian’s engagement with online word of mouth communication is going to increase in coming years as social media plays an increasingly important role in consumer decision making.”
Nielson states that around 43 per cent of online Australians now own a smartphone, this has apparently had a significant effect on social networking gaining traction in the Australian market.
Results highlighted that over one quarter of social networkers (26 per cent) participated in mobile social networking in the past year. Younger Australians were found to be the most likely to participate via the mobile platform, with 66 per cent of users under the age of 35.
Facebook is the most popular mobile social networking site, with 92 per cent of mobile social networkers visiting the site. This is followed by YouTube (18 per cent), Twitter (18 per cent) and MySpace (nine per cent).
Although Facebook has the highest number of users, Twitter records the most frequent mobile usage, with half of its users visiting the site daily. Around 36 per cent of mobile Facebook users visit the site daily.