March has been dominated by Australian research reports suggesting that we Aussies have an obsession with social media.
Which sites are most popular?
According to Alexa, social media sites are dominating the top 100 Australian sites. In particular 20% of sites within the top 20, are of a social media kind.
Here is a summary of the results;
Facebook Position 3
YouTube Position 6
MySpace Position 11
Flickr Position 18
Bebo Position 21
Photobucket Position 32
Friendster Position 81
Twitter Position 89
A closer look
Social networking sites are definitely a winner with the Australian population. According to the Digital Life Survey one in every two Australians use social networking sites. In particular consumption is as high as 91% for those between the age of 15 – 19. In addition on average Australian’s are members of 2.7 different social networking sites which is above the world average of 2.5.
Facebook & MySpace continue to dominate the landscape with Facebook attracting 4,682,000 unique visitors in December 2008, compared with just 2,362,000 for MySpace. However investment in Australia by Friendster, shows dedication and aspirations for growth thus this is one to watch.
Twitter is also definitely a surprise – with all of the hype around the site it is surprising that it has only just snuck into the Top 100.
But I wouldn’t discount it just yet. From January to February 2009 Twitter’s Australian user base has grown by 100,000 (67%) moving it to the mainstream. Given this growth it is no doubt Twitter will have significant reach by years end.
Are brands doing enough with social media?
An article recently published on the Sydney Morning Herald website stated that Corporate Australia must try harder to tap into social tools. However if you are new to social media this can be somewhat daunting.
Some words to the wise;
For those fairly new to social media, a good place to start is to listen. Traditional marketing is dominated by one way dialogue and Web 2.0 has opened the channels of communication BUT before engaging in conversation start by observing. Through observation an organisation can gauge the key theme’s emerging on both their brand and in the industry and also determine where online your brand is being discussed. From there you can map the type of content being discussed and the key sites being utilised to discuss your industry/brand. This will then allow you to create a strategy for areas which require the most attention or where you can create the biggest impact.
Not Just Another Channel
If you do wish to delve into social media marketing it is important to understand the different dynamics of this channel and not to simply use the channel to push marketing messages. The very nature of social media is the facilitation of conversations and relationships thus it is important to ensure there is mutual benefit derived for both parties.
Know what you are getting yourself into
It is important that organisations considering social media marketing, are prepared to invest time in this area. Social media marketing is not a short term strategy, it takes time to build trust and relationships with your target market and this is not usually gained overnight.