In this analysis of the Sensis report into how Australians use the Internet & Social Media, I will be focusing on social media and how customers use social media for purchasing decisions. While it’s important to know when we are online to work out when we need to post on social media, it’s the behaviours which drive purchasing decisions which interest businesses. This post is to be read with the previous article and can be compared with the previous year.

When and where do Australians use Social Media?

92 % of Australians access social media at home. When we are at home, Australians are most likely to check their social media in the lounge room and then the bedroom. This is no great surprise when you look at when we are most likely to check social media.

Australians are most likely to check social media in the evening (71%), first thing in the morning (57%), and at lunch or in breaks (equally 47%). So it’s no great surprise that our lounge and bed rooms are our most popular location. This also matches the likelihood that we are using smartphones to access social media. (Note: the 65+ age group are most likely to use a laptop)

Below is the chart of when we check our social media by age and by decreasing popularity

18-2930-3940-4950-6465+
EveningEveningEveningEveningEvening
BreaksFirst thingFirst thingFirst thingFirst thing
First thing/LunchLunchBreaksLunchLunch

 

What you can see in this table is a good indication of when you should be posting on social media depending on your target age group. Unfortunately, may businesses are still posting outside of these hours because they do not schedule their posts.

Why Australians use Social Media for purchase decisions

Firstly, only 18% of Australians use social media to follow brands and of them it’s most likely to be the 30-39 & 50-64 year olds who do. Now that does not mean you don’t need social media; that means that you shouldn’t worry about low follower numbers. You see, 16% use social media to access brand promotions (again the favoured by 30-39 year olds) and 16% to research purchases (most likely for those 65+). There’s a good chance that they are seeing what you post without even liking or following your social media profile. Here’s proof…

52% of people who researched a product on social media went on to purchasing one of the products they saw

61% of those purchases were made online

What can you do to influence the purchases made using Social Media?

Use reviews

61 % of Australians will read between 1 and 5 reviews before making a purchase. Remember that this is across all social media and there are many ways to post reviews. While you can use the review function on social media profiles, I actively encourage business owners to regularly post reviews on their social media to push the good news out to followers. By doing this you control the design of the review and you can organise them how you choose.

There has been an increase in people likely to change their opinion (to be positive) if you respond to a negative review. This means that you should keep negative reviews on your social media and respond to them.

I have previously written about the psychology of reviews, it contains information on why people give reviews and the aspects needed to have a convincing review.

What to post

This year, Australians said that it was more important (than previously reported) that businesses interact positively on social media, update their content regularly (post regularly), and post engaging and relevant information. Here’s the key to all of this, it’s what your customer thinks is engaging & relevant – not you. So it’s crucial that business owners understand their ideal customers.

Here’s the thing about engaging and relevant content – not having engaging and relevant content is the biggest reason why people unfollow social media accounts. It’s not ads. In fact, Australians, while not necessarily happy to see them they are not turned off by them nor will they ignore them. So, consider ads as part of your social media, they’re not going to push clients away.

If you are considering ads, you might want to consider the following things people want from brands on social media:
- 54% want discounts
- 48% want giveaways
- 30% want information, and
- 29% want nothing at all.

So before you think that your ad has to offer a great discount, consider that nearly 1/3 of your fans actually don’t want anything from you at all.

I have one more thing for you to consider when using social media for your business and what Australians like when online. All Australians are excited when our posts receive more likes than usual. While this statistic is higher for those <39, there was some degree of agreeance across the ages. So, give some positive feedback to posts and comments on your social media account, even if it’s a like. If you want to know why this works, read my post on what happens to our brain when we use social media.

So all in all, it seems that Australians are increasing their use of social media and while some want special offers a good proportion don’t want anything at all other than: good content, they like to be liked and if they research online they are more likely to buy online. It still points to the need for brands to have some sort of regular social media presence where the client is put first.

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