21 February 2012

Social media: Should you stay out of the water?

We’re only a couple of months into the year and there’s already no shortage of brands taking a bashing for their handling of social media campaigns.  Whether it’s negativity in the media over comments posted to Facebook Pages or poor handing of social media competitions, there’s no shortage of critics out there.

For businesses yet to dip their toes into the social media water you can almost forgive them for staying shore-side.  Surely it’s better to keep dry and monitor from afar?

Well, not quite.  In fact, if there’s one country ripe for social media engagement it’s Australia.  Here’s why…

  • We’re becoming more connected .  The roll out of Australia’s National Broadband Network is bringing high-speed Internet access to new groups of people and businesses.  If there’s ever been a time to roll out digital communications campaigns it’s now.
  • We’re a social bunch.  There are currently over 10m active Facebook users in Australia.  In April 2011 LinkedIn passed 2 million members in Australia.  Among Nielsen’s 10 Internet-metered markets, Australian Internet users spend the most time visiting social networks and blogs, averaging 7 hours, 17 minutes per person.  The message for communicators is loud and clear.  Australians want and expect brands to connect and engage with them online.
  • We’re mobile.  According to Nielsen, the use of smartphones by Australians to stay in touch with current news and global events is rapidly growing, with 58 per cent growth in audience and a 74 per cent growth in the volume of pages consumed year-on-year to January 2012.  The potential to achieve huge successes in integrating mobile into social media engagement strategies is huge.
  • We’re all about communities.  One of the benefits of social media is its ability to connect and engage communities (large and small).  If any nation knows a thing or two about communities it’s Australia.  In such a vast country, we understand and are receptive to personalised and tailored messages.  The NSW Police’s use of Facebook to breathe new life into Neighbourhood Watch schemes is an innovative example of how community engagement can be taken online.

Of course, jumping in head-first is never wise.  But with some strategic thought and a little risk management businesses can avoid finding themselves at sea with social media.

By n2n    

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