Even though more and more of us are now using social media to investigate products and brands, Australian businesses are yet to take full advantage of the channel.
This is according to the Yellow Social Media Report, now in its fourth year, which provides valuable insight into how Australians use social media.
And this year, social media growth is being driven by older folk, whereas in the past it was driven by younger demographics. However, with more and more oldies getting onto old favourites such as Facebook, younger generations are jumping onto the more visual platforms such as Intstagram, Tumbler and Snapchat.
Around 69% of Australians are active on social media - and not entirely surprisingly, Facebook still rules the roost, with 95% of social media users on there. This means that well over half the country's population is on Facebook! (How active they are is a different question.)
The top-ranking reason people gave for using social media was... 'social'. Despite this, approximately a third of Australians use social media to assess brands and businesses, and also to research a purchase or access a special offer. Social media now plays a significant role in the customer journey for around 30% of Australians.
Despite this, however, businesses are lagging behind. Even though 69% of online Australians are using social media, only 36% of small businesses and 48% of medium-sized businesses have a social-media presence.
And when it comes to spending, small business throws a mere 16% of the marketing budget into social media, medium-sized business spend 12%, and large businesses a mere 5%.
With social media's increasing influence on purchasing, many businesses may be missing an opportunity to connect with potential customers.
Read more in the Yellow Social Media Report for 2014.