Nielsen reports today via Nielsen’s 2010 Social Media Report, that there are now 9 million Australians interacting on regularly on social networking sites with Facebook dominating – more than 83% of social networkers naming Facebook as their main social networking platform, up from 72% in 2008 and 34% in 2007.
Overall, Facebook is Australia’s most popular social network with 75% of online Australians having ever visited, and via time spent per month (more than 8 hours per month which is seven and a half more hours than its closest rival site YouTube)
Nielsen see the growth in Smartphone ownership in Australia to 43% of online Australians assisting the growth in mobile social networking. Of the pool of social networkers, 26% are participating via mobile.
Twitter is used increasingly a mobile social network in Australia, with half of its mobile users visiting the site daily. In comparison, Facebook saw 36% of its mobile users visit the site, whilst 22 percent of MySpace users and 16 percent of YouTube users were making daily visits. Twitter’s usage in Australia grew more than 400% in 2009 and 14% of Australians have followed companies or organisations on Twitter (up from 5% in 2008)
The chart below shows the fastest growing social media activities from 2009.
Melanie Ingrey, Research Director for Nielsen’s online business, sees social networks having big impact on brands:Interacting with brands in social networks overall is at 38% in 2009 up 15 points year on year. This translates to nearly two in five online Australians are now interacting with companies via social sites, and shows Australians are open to engaging with brands and companies online.
“The opportunities for brands and companies to tap into the social media phenomenon are really just beginning to emerge and to date we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. Incredibly, nearly nine in ten Australian Internet users (86%) are looking to their fellow Internet users for opinions and information about products, services and brands, and Australians’ engagement with online word of mouth communication is going to increase in coming years as social media plays an increasingly important role in consumer decision making.”
I find these stats support what we see everyday as social media marketers – that consumers are looking to make two-way connections to brands. Consumers are looking for brand interaction, in the places they spend the most amount of time, which increasingly is in social spaces. The challenge for marketers in the coming era of social commerce is in becoming a genuine social brand, and to be open to conversation, feedback, and to integrate social marketing into all the other marketing channels.
What do you see as the coming challenges for social brands?