The latest Sensis Social Media Report has revealed a disconnect between Australian consumers’ behaviour and the expectations businesses have when using social media to promote their brands.
The 2015 Sensis survey of 1,100 businesses and 800 consumers shows that businesses are mainly investing in social media as a two-way communication channel with their customers (84 per cent) and for customer feedback or reviews (68 per cent). Less than a third of businesses are using social media to offer their customers incentives.
However, when asked what they want from brands via social media, consumers were not interested in a conversation. Discounts topped the list (45 per cent), followed by give-aways (35 per cent) and coupons (30 per cent). Interestingly, there was a large increase in consumers stating they wanted nothing at all from brands (34 per cent – up from 26 per cent in 2014).
Sensis general manager, digital, Evan Ravensdale said, “Social media is now an important part of people’s everyday lives. Businesses need to focus on using it in the way consumers want and at the moment, it seems there are a lot of missed opportunities.”
Over two-thirds of Australians have a social media presence, yet only a third of businesses have a social media engagement strategy. Of those businesses, only a quarter are measuring the return on investment. In fact, nearly half of the businesses surveyed (46per cent) replied they had invested money in social media at some stage but had no idea how much they had spent.
“There are huge opportunities for business growth if you have a sound, consistent social media strategy,” said Ravensdale. “The key is to treat it like any other business investment by planning, executing and then measuring the results.”
Although Facebook still dominates both consumer usage (93 per cent) and business advertising expenditure (96 per cent), growth has slowed, with preference beginning to show in other platforms such as LinkedIn and, particularly for retail and tourism businesses, Instagram.
Other key findings in the report include:
- Of those who use social media to research products, 49 per cent ended up purchasing as a result (down from 63 per cent last year)
- 38 per cent of consumers are quite happy to see ads on social media. 39 per cent are not and 23 per cent don’t care
- Around a quarter of social media users (24 per cent) had posted a review on a product or service during the past 12 months, with dramatic increases for the accommodation and dining sectors.
- Frequency is up, with those checking social media more than five times a day up to 24 per cent of users (up from 19 per cent last year).
You can download the full report at: www.sensis.com.au/socialmediareport