Why Small Businesses Need Social Media

Why Small Businesses Need Social Media

Businesses need social media, you have probably heard this time and time again, but starting your own business is tricky and after not long you will realise how hard it is to gain connections and increase client numbers and yes, social media can make it much easier for you.

With 18 million Australians, or 72% of the country’s population, being active social media users, companies are wise to develop a strong online presence to capture those eyeballs.

Given the additional need for business to be able to reach and interact with customers online due to health considerations, regulations and restrictions, social media usage for businesses has quickly become more of a necessity than a luxury.

Australians today are spending more and more time online and on their phones, with a lot of that time being spent on social media apps from Facebook to Pinterest. We also know that social media users enjoy and regularly interact with companies they are interested in or already do business with. So not only is social media a safe and widespread, it’s also a cost effective vehicle to reach customers already expecting to hear from you.

Here at Social Media AOK, we believe that when used correctly, social media can be the perfect way to increase the presence of a business in the city, country and even around the world. While big businesses have the money and the resources to easily tackle the social media, smaller businesses are taking a bit longer to grasp the concepts of social media, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t trying.

As of 2018, The proportion of Australian businesses with a social media presence has reached record levels, with more than half of small businesses (51 per cent) and medium businesses (58 per cent) having a profile, and large businesses jumping from 60 per cent in 2017 up to 85 per cent.

2018 Social Media Usage Stats

  • Number of social media users has increased by 5.9% to 18 million
  • Mobile social media users have increased by 6.7% to 16 million
  • The average time spent on social media daily per user is currently 1 hour and 31 minutes and increasing
  • 96% of users have visited or used a social network or messaging service in the past month

For small businesses, social media a powerful platform for connecting directly with a local audience to build brand awareness and loyalty, provide an effective platform for lead generation all while adding value to potential prospects and customers. Those who follow your business also automatically become preferred customers because these people have already opted in and are much more likely to convert than a cold lead.

The most popular platforms

Now many might ask, “Which social media sites should I be using?” With different social media sites popping up constantly which ones are the “go to” sites for these up and coming businesses’?

  • Visual platforms continue to grow in popularity, with Instagram seeing a 15 point jump in users (from 31% to 46%). Snapchat saw the biggest growth, with usage almost doubling from 22% to 40% this year. Twitter has also seen a surge in usage, up from 19% to 32%.
  • However, Facebook remains the most popular, with 94% of social media users on the platform.

Sensis reports the following 2018 social media channel usage for Australia.

Facebook – 94%

YouTube – 50%

Instagram – 46%

Snapchat 40%

Twitter – 32 %

LinkedIn – 18%

Pinterest –  10%

There is no doubting the fact that Facebook is the easiest social media site to manage for many people, but just having a Facebook page for your business is not going to boost your clients instantly. You need to be constantly updating your page to keep possible clients informed and interested, and from the information gathered in the social media report it is clear that many small businesses are not doing this.


In 2018, 21% of small businesses measured their return on investment (ROI) on social media, consistent with the last two years. 32% of medium businesses and 35% of large businesses do so. The majority of these businesses are still only updating their page once a week and barely any of them are measuring the return on their social media investment.

Sensis Social Media use report 2018

Just over six in ten SMBs and large businesses believe their social media investment will contribute to higher sales in the next year.

For those who are present on social media their business success is evident. The proportion of smaller businesses that are seeking significant or moderate growth in their business is a massive 64%, compared to 39% of these businesses who are getting the same amount of success when having no social media presence.

So for those small businesses who are still ‘umming and ahhhing’ over whether or not to use social media, perhaps these latest statistics will make your decision a little easier.  Small businesses’ utilising social media expect to have an increase of 24% in sales due their social media presence. Who wouldn’t want that right?  Social media is constantly growing and the sooner you jump on board, the easier it will be to get your head around the confusing concepts, so don’t wait too long!

If you are confused about the information in this post or you would like to know how your business might benefit from using social media contact us at Social Media AOK.


References & Links

Sensis Data

Yellow Pages Social Media Business Statistics 2018

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Simone Douglas

Simone Douglas

Simone is co-founder and Senior Principal Solutions Architect of Social Media AOK. Simone offers over 17 years in corporate management roles encompassing generalist HR recruitment and development of small to large teams across multiple sites, industry sectors and states. Experienced in a variety of social media platforms and their complimentary applications, social media strategy, risk management, disaster recovery and associated HR policies and processes.