TikTok leading social media growth in Australia

Tik Tok social growth (1)
The latest report reveals how Aussies are accessing the digital and ecommerce arena. (Source: Bigstock)

A new report underscores the growing importance of digital in Australia, with 25.21 million internet users, representing 95 per cent of the population, and 20.8 million social media identities, equivalent to 86.5 per cent of the adult population.

This is according to Digital 2024 Australia, the report prepared by social and media intelligence provider Meltwater and creative agency We Are Social on the country’s digital, social and eCommerce landscape.

The report found that Australians aged 16 to 64 now spend an average of six hours and 14 minutes using the internet each day, and one hour and 51 minutes on social media. TikTok has the highest average time per Android user of any social app, with over 42 hours and 13 minutes per month. In second place is YouTube, with the average user spending over 21 hours.

“The data from this year’s report reaffirms how social media stands as the cornerstone of brand engagement and consumer interaction, with the growing investment in social media advertising further underscoring its pivotal role in a brand’s overall marketing strategy,” David Hickey, Executive Director for Asia-Pacific at Meltwater, said,

“As social media continues to shape consumer behaviour, it has become imperative for marketers to understand and capitalise on key insights from these platforms,” he added. “These insights not only inform the refinement and effectiveness of future campaigns but also serve as the bedrock for maximising returns on their investment.”

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat

Facebook remains the favourite platform for nearly one in four Australians, who spend an average of 20 hours and 15 minutes per month. Instagram follows closely, with three in five internet users engaging with the platform, spending an average of 11 hours and 46 minutes per month. Its total potential ad reach shows the biggest growth among the top social apps, increasing by almost 20 per cent in the past year, now close to 14 million.

Australians are also found to be spending the most time on Snapchat, with 17 hours and two minutes and 619 sessions per month.

The report also underscores the important role of social media as a key source of information about brands and products, with 58 per cent of users aged 16 to 64 turning to social networks for this purpose. Online spending has grown substantially in the travel and tourism sector, with annual online spend on flights surged by 44 per cent, amounting to over US$10 billion, while spending on hotels grew by 34 per cent, reaching almost US$6 billion.

Australian digital advertising spend continues to grow, reaching US$13.5 billion in 2023, representing 72.4 per cent of total ad spend, now at US$18.6 billion. Social media advertising maintains a significant share of the digital advertising market, with US$3.8 billion (+six per cent), representing almost one-third of the total digital ad spend. Whilst smaller, at US$460 million, influencer marketing spend has increased by 15 per cent.

“The data in this year’s report speaks volumes about how integral digital platforms have become in the daily lives of Australians,” Suzie Shaw, CEO at We Are Social, said. “With almost all of the population active on social media, it’s clear that these platforms are no longer just an option but a necessity for brands to connect and engage with their audience.

“The remarkable surge in TikTok usage is proof of its evolution from an ’emerging platform’ to a pivotal channel,” Shaw added. “With its engaging content and sophisticated algorithm, TikTok captivates users’ attention like no other platform. Creators can be powerful allies for brands on the platform, boosting their cultural clout, helping them reach new audiences and influencing people’s choices. But TikTok is different from any other social platform. Marketers must grasp its nuances to capitalise on its immense potential.”

This article was first published on sibling website Inside Small Business.