Australian social media use jumped 14% in 2016, as mobile web traffic continues to grow

Global social media engagement grew 21% over the past year and businesses can now pitch to an audience of 2.8 billion people through social media.

Social media management platform HootSuite and digital consultancy We are Social released their Digital 2017 report this week, finding that social media penetration in Australia jumped 14% in the past 12 months and 16 million Australians are now engaged on at least one social platform.

Digital in 2017 Australia annual growth

Australian digital growth 2016 – 2017. Source: Hootsuite, We are Social Digital 2017 report

Engagement on mobile is growing at a faster pace across the rest of the Asia Pacific, with a 25% increase in active social media users, or an increase of 303 million people online since January 2016.

Active mobile social media users in the Asia Pacific increased by 35%, with a 15% increase in with access to the internet in the region.

Hootsuite researchers say the numbers make it clear that all organisations across the globe must approach communications with a “social media first” mindset to connect with customers the world over.

“One of the greatest opportunities of a digitally connected world is the ability to have immediate conversations, wherever and whenever customers want. Social media not only enables organisations to amplify [their] brand, but also build trust, credibility and human relationships at scale,” says Roger Graham, senior director of growth and marketing for Asia Pacific at Hootsuite.

On a global scale, the usage statistics show a clear move away from desktop, laptop and tablet engagement in favour of mobile devices; the volume of web traffic served to mobile was up 30% on the previous year, compared with a 20% drop in desktop and laptop traffic.

A significant chunk of all web traffic in Australia now gets served directly to mobile, at 36%.

Read more: Three social media marketing techniques to try out this year

The findings suggest we should do away with buzzwords and accept that digital engagement is now key to how the world receives and processes brand messages.

“Given this latest data, it’s probably time for us to stop referring to social as ‘new media’, and integrate it more seamlessly into our day-to-day activities,” Simon Kemp of We are Social says.

share of web traffic by device

Source: Hootsuite, We are Social Digital 2017 report

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