Yellow has released its latest research into the social media habits of Australians and has found Facebook a clear favourite with consumers and businesses alike. However, businesses seeking to grow their social presence should also consider Instagram and YouTube.
Yellow reveals 89 per cent of consumers spend on average eight hours a week on Facebook while 90 per cent of businesses have a presence on the platform. Yet businesses could be missing out on connecting with consumers by ignoring other social channels. YouTube and Instagram appear to be significantly more popular with consumers than business owners realise. These two platforms are used by 54 per cent and 45 per cent of consumers respectively for an average of 12 and 7 hours a week. Only 25 per cent and 32 per cent of small businesses have a presence on YouTube and Instagram, which may indicate a lost marketing opportunity.
Use of Twitter in the consumer market (20 per cent) aligns with use by businesses (22 per cent) While Snapchat and Pinterest are used by around 20 per cent of consumers but less than 10 per cent of SMBs.
Businesses wanting to connect with women would do well to take to Instagram with 57 per cent of women using the platform more than 30 times a week. Women are also above average users of Snapchat.
SMBs of all types use social media for reasons that are primarily marketing related says Hayley Jovanovic, Chief Marketing Officer at Yellow.
“Although only a minority of SMBs advertise on social media, most of those who do, see it as effective. Consumers tend to be dismissive of social media advertising, however, solid minorities are receptive and influenced.”
Yellow reports the leading reasons why small businesses use social media are: to promote the business (33 per cent), create awareness and exposure (28 per cent) and generate sales (17 per cent).
Sixty-three per cent of small businesses use social media channels to engage in two-way communication with customers and contacts.
Thirty-seven per cent of SMBs have paid to advertise on a social media channel. This is higher for medium than small businesses (44 per cent vs 34 per cent) and in metro areas (41 per cent vs 31 per cent).
Regardless of the social media channel used for advertising, around 80 per cent of SMBs say it was effective.
Why? Perhaps it is because 31 per cent of consumers report they are happy to see ads on social media sites and 38 per cent agree that they “sometimes click on ads seen on social network sites to find out more.”
Nonetheless, both small business owners and consumers found aspects of social frustrating.
Twenty-two per cent of SMBs say they’re concerned about receiving negative reviews or ratings online. Other frustrations related to social media use include dealing with technology and related issues (11 per cent), the time and resources required to manage it (11 per cent), and effective customer targeting (9 per cent).