Social media use in WA // Key takeaways from the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report

It’s like Christmas for nerds!!

The first chapter of the annual Sensis Social Media Report has just been released!

In this first section, the consumers were surveyed and they found 84% of Australians access the internet daily, and 56% of them access it more than 5 times throughout the day.

The survey also found that 79% of Australians are active on social media. But what are we using it for? When and where are we using it?

Rather than wading through all the data yourselves, we have put together our key takeaways from the report. We take a look at how Australians, and more importantly how Western Australians are using social media in 2017.

What’s trending in 2017

Some of the trends in this year’s report include the rise in the use of smartphones, the growth in popularity of visual content and the increased frequency of social media use.

In Australia, 79% of internet users use social media. Although this has significantly increased since last year, there still exist some barriers for use.

62% stated that either they are not interested or it doesn’t appeal as the reason for not using social media.

The most common activity on social media is to watch a video (61%), followed by sharing someone else’s post (45%) and posting a selfie (40%).

Social media use is on the rise

Despite the resistance, our use of social media is becoming more frequent.

59% of Australians are accessing social networking sites at least once a day.

Those that check their social media over 5 times per day has increased from 26% in 2016 to 35%.

Western Australian’s are slightly above the national average, with 61% checking social media sites daily. Interestingly though, 23% of Western Australian’s surveyed said they never checked social, the national average was 21%.

The most popular time for West Australian’s to check social media is in the evening (74%) followed by first thing in the morning (68%). This trend was also true nationally across each of the age groups, genders and locations.

Driven by engagement

As a nation 1 in 3 of us have experienced being excited when a post receives lots of likes on social media, of this 63% are in 18-29 age group.

Many of us feel anxious when we aren’t able to check our social media accounts (15%), which would explain why around 1 in 5 of us check our social media while eating with family or friends.

Mobile connection

Smartphones are our device of choice. The number of users accessing with smartphones had gradually increased from 34% in 2011 when laptops were the most widely used device to access social (50%).

81% of adults in Australia use smartphones to access social media.

For Australians aged 18-29 years, smartphones are by far the most popular device for accessing social media (97%), only use 24% laptops. In comparison, those over 65 years prefer laptops (39%) and have equal numbers using smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.

Home time

The stats show an increase in use across almost every location in 2017, but by far the most popular place for us to access our social is at home, on the couch.

99% of West Australians use social at home, but perhaps more alarmingly we also have a great like of using it at work.

Western Australians love being connected, regardless of where we are. In fact, WA has the highest percentage of social media use in all of the locations used in the survey. At 51% we have the highest use of social media at work, and 11% use social in the cinema, more than double the national use.

As with most Australians, we are inclined to access social media in the living room of our homes, but we are also very comfortable accessing it while on the toilet! Compared to 14% nationally, 29% of West Australians will access social in the bathroom, only to be outdone by Northern Territorians at 35%.

We love Facebook

Facebook continues to be the most popular social networking site in Australia, 91% of males and 97% of females have an active profile, and for all age groups, it is the most used network.

Of the Western Australian’s surveyed, 94% use Facebook, more than in NSW and Victoria (both 92%).

Facebook Messenger is the most popular messaging service for Australians, 81% of respondents preferring it to Viber (34%) and WhatsApp (18%). However, 23% use WhatsApp to message in WA, making the service more popular than any other state or territory.

Visual content

Sharing photographs or videos was one of the main reasons (57%) for being on social media, a 21% increase from 2016. The increasing popularity of Instagram and Snapchat amongst Australians confirms our love of visual content.

In 2017 Instagram has become the 3rd most popular social networking platform with 46% of Australians regularly using it, followed by Snapchat with 40%. On average Instagram users will use the platform 37.7 times per week, while Snapchat is used on average 41.7 times per week.

Video has been widely touted across the globe as the big thing for 2017, and the Sensis stats show it to be true here in Australia too. YouTube is the 2nd most popular platform, with 51% of those surveyed using the platform and even higher in WA at 63%.

Watching live video on Facebook Live is popular among 30-49yr old Australians, the age group being the most likely to watch video on the platform. However, the platform is less popular in WA, with other states and territories more inclined to watch and publish video on Facebook Live.

In adopting the story function of platforms, West Australians are slightly above the national average for each. Five percent more used Facebook (49%), four percent more used Snapchat (41%) and an equal amount used Instagram (36%).

Connecting with brands on social

There has been a decline across the board with only 24% of consumers in Australia following a brand or businesses on social, compared to 36% last year. The total number of users in WA following a brand or business is 26%.

When asked if they had stopped following a brand or business in the three months before the survey, 8% responded that they had. In comparison, 11% of people in Western Australian have stopped following the social network of a brand or business, equal highest with the ACT.

Western Australians are also more likely to give an online rating (29%) than any other state or territory, the average across the nation being 22%. We are also more likely to read (50%) and post (25%) on review sites. While the rest of the country slowed, WA saw an increase in the trend.

Final Thoughts

West Australians love social media. So get out there and start using it to grow your business!

Check out the video version!


For those of you wanting more of the granular details from this chapter of the report (and have a couple of hours to spare!) head over to the Sensis site.