Each year Sensis research and release a report on how Australians are using social media. It’s full of all the Australian social media statistics you could dream of. If you have been to any of my workshops or speaking engagements you may have noticed that I reference this research regularly. To me, when this report is released it’s like Christmas, my inner nerd kicks in and I can’t wait to sit down and read the extensive 70 plus page document.
This year I have been lucky enough to receive an advanced copy and have pulled out some key findings that are important for travel and tourism businesses to understand.
NB: 800 consumers and 1100 businesses were surveyed for this annual research
NB: Also interesting to look at the 2015 and 2014 versions of the Sensis Social Media Report
Key Finding for Tourism from the Sensis Social Media Report 2016
Social Media Usage
- Almost 50% of small to medium sized businesses in Australia have a social media presence compared with 31% last year.
- However we see 87% of Australians access the internet daily and of those, 69% use social media with the majority accessing social media every day or most days.
What this tells us is businesses are slower than consumers to take advantage of social media. With 69% of internet users in Australia using social media it means social media sites are a valid communication channel to reach your target market.
- It is no surprise that Facebook is the most popular social networking site with 95% of social media users maintaining a Facebook profile.
- Instagram (31%) has moved up a spot to be the second most popular social network followed by Linkedin (24%), Snapchat (22%) then Twitter (19%).
- However if you look at the breakdowns you will note a few more details such as 60% of 18-29 years olds use Snapchat compared to 2% of 50-64 year olds and 36% of metro based social media users use Instagram verses just 20% of regional and Linkedin is most popular in NSW and those in Victoria like Pinterest.
What this tells us is two things, chances are your target market is on Facebook but it is important to drill down and understand what network your target market is utilising. Just because there has been great growth in both Snapchat and Instagram, doesn’t mean this growth has come from your target market – it is important to select channels based on where your market is hanging out.
Social Media & Mobile
- Over 70% of social media users access their accounts on their smartphone, this being the preferred device for social networking. Desktops are half as popular for logging into social media as they were in 2011 (60% down to 30%).
This is important as you need to be aware that people are likely consuming your content or following any links you post on a mobile device, so you need to be aware of what page on your website look like on mobile. It’s not just about being mobile compatible but does it function on mobile, do the images look good, can you read the text etc.
Social Media & Path to Purchase
- People use social media for difference reasons although 91% say they do so to ‘catch up with family and friends’, 35% to ‘get information on news and current events’, 28% to ‘to watch videos’, 18% ‘coordinate parties or other shared activities’ and 14% said use social media to ‘research products and services you might want to buy’.
- Among those 14%, holiday, travel and accommodation stood out (21%). (Participants were asked “What were you looking for on the last search occasion?”)
- And of those 14%, most used a mobile device rather than a computer and 59% said the research lead to purchase and 71% said that purchase was made online (phew got all that!)
The takeaways here are people are doing more than consuming content via mobile devices but are researching and purchasing online. It is important for you to critically look at what the process is like to purchase your tour, accommodation, transport, attraction etc online?
Brand Trust and Social Media
- 41% will inspect a brand’s social media presence before making an online purchase if they had not previously purchased from that brand’s website. This complimenting other research about online touchpoint and supports a point I make in many of my presentations about understanding the role social media plays for your business and in the path the purchase.
- 52% say they are more likely to trust a brand if the brand interacts with their customers in a positive way on social media
- 52% say they are more likely to trust a brand if they find the brand content engaging and relevant
- 51% say they are more likely to trust a brand if the brand regularly update their content
- Only 30% say hey are more likely to trust a brand if they have a large number of followers across sites like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter
Do your social media channels accurately reflect your brand, the quality of your product and your product offerings? Are you replying, engaging and responding to activity on your social networks? Your Facebook page may not receive direct booking but people are checking your social sites then getting the confidence to book with you (or not). Your social sites can add or take away from your credibility – and its NOT about having a large follower base its about quality content.
There are even more insights in the full report which is available for free.
Also this cool video highlights some of the key findings.
Or scroll below for the handy infographic – with thanks to sensis.com.au for another great report