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Home >  Blog >  New Zealanders Interacting Via Social Media are Increasing at a Rapid Rate

New Zealanders Interacting Via Social Media are Increasing at a Rapid Rate

Posted on 12 August 2010

New Zealanders are increasing their participation in social media at a rapid rate, with content sharing the most popular social media activity, according to findings from Nielsen’s 2010 Social Media Report. The report, which tracked Internet users’ social media usage, found that more than four in five New Zealand Internet users (81%) sent or shared a photo in the past year, three quarters (75%) posted (uploaded) photos online and 73% sent or shared a link.

More than two in five online New Zealanders (42%) are interacting with companies via social networking sites, reinforcing notions that New Zealanders are open to engaging with brands and companies online. Social media is also playing an important role in product and service purchasing decisions as 44% of New Zealanders have published opinions specifically about products, services and brands while 73% have read other consumers’ product opinions online. Furthermore, of those who haven’t read consumer reviews and discussions, almost two thirds intend to do so in 2010.

“The opportunities for brands and companies to tap into the social media phenomenon are really just beginning to emerge and to date we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg,” states Tony Boyte, Research Director for Nielsen’s online business. “Incredibly, nearly two million online New Zealanders (1.92 million) have looked to their fellow Internet users for opinions and information about products, services and brands, and New Zealanders’ engagement with online word of mouth communication is going to increase in coming years as social media plays an increasingly important role in consumer decision making.”

In contrast to the previous iteration of Nielsen’s Social Media Report in 2007, Facebook has overtaken Bebo and now dominates the New Zealand online social networking space, with more than four in five New Zealand Internet users (82%) reporting to have visited Facebook, 70% have a Facebook profile, and 79% of social networkers name Facebook as their main social networking platform, up from just 19 percent in 2007. Of those who say Facebook is their main profile, 54% visit the site at least daily, and 39% are on the site for at least four hours a week.

Micro-blogging site Twitter has also begun to gain traction in New Zealand in the past year, off the back of much global and local hype – more than one quarter of New Zealanders (27%) have visited the site and 11% have created a Twitter profile. Of Twitter’s user base in New Zealand, 44% say they have ‘followed’ companies or brands via the site. New Zealand companies are also jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, with close to one third (30%) of marketers saying that their company has established a presence on Twitter.

The rise in Smartphone ownership and the lowering of mobile data charges has seen mobile social networking gain traction in the past three years. Nielsen’s report found that nearly one quarter of social networkers (24%) participated in mobile social networking in the past year

“For now, the battle of the social networking sites has clearly been won, and Facebook has proven its dominance by providing valuable and compelling content that has more than half of their users returning every day,” observes Boyte. “These days, any New Zealander who cares to participate in online social networking has almost certainly been on Facebook. But looking to the future, who knows what evolution could take place in this space, and it’s certainly possible that Facebook could be usurped by another social networking star.”

When looking at what Social Mediums you are going to use in your business, it is important to establish who your clients and prospects are using, and what mediums work for your social media objectives.  If you would like to learn more, check out our June Webinar on Social Media is it a Fad or Revolution.