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The Results of the 2020 Yellow Social Media Report are in…

social media report

Remember the Yellow pages? That big, chunky book that you got delivered every year without asking, only for it to be used as a spider squasher or a step to get the chocolate off the top shelf? Well, it still exists! Much like everything though, it now exists in an online capacity, and every year as part of the Australian Census they conduct a social media report jam-packed with statistics on just about every part of social media you could think of, through the eyes of Australian users – from how much time you spend on each platform right down to which room of the house people are mostly in when checking their apps!

If you don’t have time to read the whole 40-page report – don’t stress! We’ve pulled out some of the best bits and summarised for you below.


I’ve never heard of it before – what actually is the report?

Since 2011, Census has been surveying Aussie businesses and consumers about their social media usage and traits. The report aims to educate businesses on what their consumers are doing online, what time they’re online, and even where they are when they’re online!


Who participates in the report surveys?

The research for this survey, in particular, was taken from 2,012 online participants from December 2019 – January 2020 (right before COVID probably changed all of these aspects!). It ensured the data was weighted across a range of factors such as age and gender so that the survey recorded an accurate sample of Australia’s adult population.


Hit me with some stats!

The report is full of a complete breakdown of stats by the different audience segments, but here are some of the most interesting ones:

  • Women are more likely to be using social media to research clothing and fashion (69% to 38% of men), hospitality (60% to 41%), cosmetics and beauty (56% to 15%) and personal services like hairdressing (35% to 18%), whereas men are more likely to spend time researching computer hardware (41% to 23%) and software (35% to 18%).
  • When Aussies do their research on social media, it often leads to them making a purchase (61%). And when they do purchase it’s most likely via an online transaction (80%).
  • Before making a first-time purchase, one third of people admit to looking at an online retailer’s social media channel.
  • Among the people surveyed, 82% of those who follow brands or businesses do it because they’re interested in discounts (62%), giveaways (47%) and product information (41%).
  • Over half the consumers said they are more likely to trust brands if they interact positively with customers on social media (51%), make their content engaging and relevant (54%), and keep it regularly updated (53%).
  • Over two thirds of consumers (68%) read online reviews or blogs to find out what others think about products or services of interest. They average seven reviews before making a purchase
  • Younger generations are the most frequent users – 55% of those aged 18-29 check social media at least 10 times a day.
  • The most popular times for using social media are in the evening (59%) and first thing in the morning (58%). More than one in three people check in on social media while on breaks from work (39%), with 33% using social media at lunch.
  • Only 15% of those surveyed said they’re more likely to purchase from a brand or business who pay influencers or celebrities to make social posts, whereas 63% say that this type of marketing makes them less likely to purchase.

Is all of this social media bad for your mental health? Read our blog to find out.

Those are great and all, but how do they help me and my business?

Well, we’re glad you asked! If you’re not doing your research, there’s a good chance that you’re not hitting your audience as well as you could be. It could be as simple as checking when your followers are online the most, to as detailed as some of the things in this report such as how they engage with areas like social media ads and influencers.

The report also provides a great breakdown of the survey questions, so it’s easy to find what relates to your audience specifically. If your audience falls into the category that checks social media at least 10 times a day, are you posting enough content to keep your business top of mind to them?

If your target consumers sit in the 60+ age bracket where only 11% of them have stated that they follow businesses on social media, are you reaching them in other ways? There’s no point posting multiple times on social media if they’re not even going to see it!

We think that these statistics are particularly relevant to businesses, as they explain the link and influence social media plays in influencing purchasing decisions, and really highlights the need to update your social media strategy as the world around us evolves.

If you want to learn more about how your own audience interacts with social media why not create a survey through a tool like Survey Monkey? Or, for a super quick result for a question, try using the polls feature on Instagram stories.

If looking at the report makes you feel overwhelmed and slightly nauseous, get in touch with our friendly team here.

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