Social ads often ignored in Australia

31 May 2012

SYDNEY: Over 60% of Australian internet users now utilise social media, but most do not engage with advertising on these sites, a study has shown.

Sensis, the directories group, and the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association, the trade body, polled 1,016 individuals, breaking out results for the 62% that had joined social networks.

A 44% share of these contributors were "quite happy" to see ads, whereas 48% "never really noticed" their presence. Another 29% "sometimes" clicked on them and 26% felt "turned off" the firms that employed such an approach.

Exactly 10% of the current user base logged on to social properties at least five times a day and 26% accessed them a minimum of once every 24 hours.

Among the same audience, 97% of people had registered on Facebook, which came in front of LinkedIn on 16%, Twitter on 14% and Google+ on 8%, the analysis revealed.

Twitter members signed in 23 times per week, beating the 22.7 posted by Facebook and 7.7 for LinkedIn. Facebook, however, had the highest dwell time of 21 minutes, ahead of LinkedIn's 13 minutes and Twitter's 11 minutes.

Some 69% of the connected community visited social sites using a laptop, reaching 54% concerning desktops, 53% for smartphones and 18% for tablets.

More broadly, 31% of members were spending greater amounts of time on social networks than last year, 42% had seen no change on this metric, and 26% had reduced their activity.

A further 23% thought they dedicated "too much" time to this pursuit, while 72% believed their consumption was "about right" and 3% asserted that did not commit enough attention to these services.

Elsewhere, 32% of social media users browsed social sites when watching TV. Within this cohort, 46% agreed that doing so increased their enjoyment of broadcast material, and 33% discussed shows in real time.

Meanwhile, 22% of people leveraging platforms like Facebook did so to find out about or follow brands and businesses, while 18% wanted to receive special offers, and 16% researched goods and services.

"Businesses must be tactical in their use of these channels to ensure that their investment in this area contributes to their business both in the online world, as well as offline," said Simon Betschel, Sensis' group manager, emerging business and innovation.

Data sourced from Sensis; additional content by Warc staff