Social media manager Hootsuite and We Are Social, the socially-led creative agency, have released Digital 2022 Australia, their latest annual report that highlights the most notable findings on digital trends and social media in Australia.
The Digital 2022 report shows the number of Australians adopting social media is up 4.6 percent, with 21 million social media users across the country (almost one million new users) since this time last year, equivalent to 83 per cent of the total population.
“As social media usage in Australia steadily increases, it is more important than ever before for companies to embrace social media to strengthen their connection with their customers.” said Letrecia Tippett, head of Australia and New Zealand, Hootsuite. “As Australians navigate through yet another challenging year of the pandemic, we encourage businesses to make use of the data from our Digital 2022 report to help them navigate which social media platforms will be most efficient in connecting them with their audiences.”
In addition to the rise in social media users, Australians aged 16-64 are also spending more time on social media each day, at 1 hour and 57 minutes (10 percent increase). Facebook remains the most used social platform, followed by Facebook Messenger and Instagram in Australia.
Highlighting the need to invest in social commerce, the report reveals 15 million (58 percent of the total population) Australians can be reached by advertising on Facebook, while TikTok has a potential ad reach of 7.38 million people aged 18+.
With a global audience available online, Australian businesses are increasingly investing in digital advertising, spending an additional US$392 million (AUD$551 million) (18 percent increase) and US$1.6 billion (AUD$2.2 billion) (27 percent increase) on social media and programmatic advertising respectively, than the previous year. Social media represents 27 percent (US$2.6 billion/ AUD$3.6 billion) of total share of digital advertising spend, and programmatic’s share of total represents 78 percent (US$7.5 billion/AUD$10.5 billion).
“The significant uplift in digital advertising spend over the past 12 months shows Australian businesses are competing for share of voice and looking to maximise their customer reach across all avenues online. As we move forward, organisations should continue to prioritise a digital-led strategy, so as not to miss out on key opportunities for growth and new customers,” added Tippett.
Despite Facebook continuing to be the most popular app, Australians are spending longer on TikTok, with users spending an average of 23.4 hours per person, per month (40 per cent increase) on the app, compared to 17.6 hours (3 per cent decline) on Facebook and 8.3 hours monthly (2 per cent increase) on Instagram.
TikTok’s ad audience also continues to grow at a rapid pace. Digital 2022 Australia indicates that the platform now has a reach of 37 percent (audience aged 18+), and was the third most downloaded mobile app over the past year, behind Service Victoria and Service NSW.
The report also highlights how gaming has become mainstream for Australians, with 3 in 4 internet users aged 16-64 playing video games, using a gaming console for an average of 1 hour 7 minutes per day (24 per cent increase). As a result, Australian digital media spend in video games has increased by 25 percent, now at US$716.9 million (AUD$1 billion). Mobile remains the preferred gaming device, with almost half of adult internet users playing games on smartphones (49.5 per cent).
“Online gaming has really become a mainstream pursuit in Australia, with many spending hours a week doing it. Throughout the pandemic, audiences have stayed connected via gaming, and it’s really evolved from just being a source of solitary entertainment to an activity where people are socialising, interacting with friends and family and creating meaningful connections,” said Suzie Shaw, CEO at We Are Social Australia. “Navigating the gaming space can be challenging, but given the size of the audience, the time spent doing it, the immersiveness of gaming environments and the creative flexibility it provides, brands should be considering gaming as part of their strategy in 2022.”
Top headlines from the Digital 2022 Australia report represent global trends in social media, internet, and ecommerce:
● The report also highlights the role of social media advertising in the marketing mix, with 24 percent aged 16-64 saying that they discover new brands, products, and services via social media ads.
● Australians aged 16-64 are increasingly absorbing media and entertainment by spending 3 hours and 44 minutes (7 percent increase) watching television, 54 minutes (35 percent increase) listening to podcasts and 1 hour and 7 minutes (24 percent) playing games.
● Instagram’s ad reach has jumped by 16 percent (1.8 million user increase) over the past year, with almost 13 million users reached each month.
● Australians spent US$2 billion (AUD$2.8 billion) on mobile apps and in-app purchases in 2021, with people spending the most on Disney+, Tinder, Kayo Sports, YouTube and Bumble.
● Brand presence online is increasingly more important with 19 million Australians purchasing goods online, equating to an annual spend of US$38 billion (AUD$53 billion).