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Record number of Australian businesses using social media

Media Release Under embargo until 1.00AM, 26 June 2018

Record number of Australian businesses using social media

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

In part two of the 2018 Yellow Social Media Report, released today, there is no sign of the move towards social media slowing down for businesses. Many are planning even greater use and expenditure on social media in the next 12 months.

“This year’s report suggests an ever-increasing number of businesses are recognising that social media is becoming an increasingly important part of doing business locally and nationally. And most businesses - just over six in 10 - expect social media will contribute to their bottom line in terms of increased sales,” says Erin Williamson, Yellow’s Head of Marketing.

The Yellow Social Media Report is an annual survey of 1,000 telephone interviews with small and medium businesses (SMBs) and 100 large businesses across the nation. It looks at how they use social media channels like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and online blogs, online rating and review mechanisms.

“When it comes to the most popular social platforms for business, Facebook is the standout across all business sizes, it’s used by about 90 per cent of them, which puts them right where their customers are: 44 per cent of Facebook users follow brands or businesses on that platform,” says Ms Williamson.

“But you’ve got to keep your content updated and relevant. In our consumer report we found unappealing posts or ads are the biggest contributor to why a consumer would stop following a brand or company.”

This year there are very few businesses that intend spending less on social media. A significant number of businesses expect to spend more, if not at least the same amount, on social media and it seems they expect to enjoy healthy returns on their social media investment.

“These findings clearly highlight that Australian companies today see social media channels and having a social media presence as an integral part of doing business - and as a means of doing better business,” says Ms Williamson.
“I think we can expect to see the number of businesses using social media continuing to rise and we will see more businesses innovating in how they harness the potential reach and power of social media to grow their customer base, business networks, sales and profits.”

Nationally, other key findings include:

 Small (34%) and medium businesses (49%) are advertising on social media to a greater degree than previously. Most businesses believe their social advertising has been effective across all platforms.

 Facebook is by far the most common social media advertising channel for all businesses. Around 9 in 10 have advertised on Facebook.

 Expectations for social media expenditure in the next 12 months is up 18 points for small businesses, 30 points for medium businesses and 23 points for large firms.

 Among SMBs and large businesses with a budget for social media, the average investment increased this year. The average budget for small businesses was $4,879 (vs $2,839 in 2017).

 Across all businesses, almost half their social media spend is on advertising, around one third is spent on content services and the balance pays for strategic management services.

 For SMBs, a greater spend on social media will not mean decreasing expenditure in other marketing or advertising activities.

 From a consumer perspective, 18% of people stopped following at least one company or brand on social media in the three months prior to the survey.

 More than 50% of social media users say they are more likely to trust brands if they interact positively with customers on social media, make their content engaging and relevant, and keep it regularly updated.

For more information contact: Aaron Prestipino on 0423 611 394, or Ali Morrow on 0401 849 249, or email

Images and infographics are available for download here:

Interview talent: Erin Williamson, Head of Marketing, Yellow

A short video summary of the report by Erin can be viewed here:

About Yellow™

Yellow is the champion of Australian small and medium businesses and is a division of Sensis – Australia’s leading marketing services company.

You might recognise this report by its former name, the Sensis Social Media Report – providing social media insights into consumer and business behaviour since 2011. It’s the same trusted report, with a new name.

This year, the Yellow Social Media Report has been released in two parts, with this edition focusing on the results of the business survey. The consumer survey insights are online at