What's the Australian public's perception of social media monitoring?

Social media has become a powerful ally to brands looking to better connect and build relationships with consumers. However, there is a balance between the needs of any campaign to successfully have enough reach, while not being too intrusive.

The average consumer is quickly put off by blatant, targeted advertising, so a delicate approach will typically be the best one. Of course, better understanding that line and meeting the needs of any target audience requires an in-depth comprehension of their opinions - that's exactly where social media monitoring can help.

Sixty per cent of Australians explained they were comfortable with social media monitoring.

A broad understanding

As the media landscape changes, consumers are becoming more self aware. Consequently, the perception of how their information is being monitored is more pronounced than ever before.

Fortunately, research from Unisys suggested that the vast majority of the Australian public are open to social media monitoring. The only real caveat lies in how government entities and private companies use the information.

In total, 60 per cent of Unisys' respondents explained that they were very comfortable with entities tracking their activities on social media in efforts to find out more about brand engagement and public sentiment.

Signs of the times

Demographically, the awareness of social media monitoring and how it's used was found to be most prevalent in millennials. Australians aged between 18 and 24 have the best understanding of how their posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc can be perceived by companies.

Moreover, this age group was the most familiar with the practice of targeted advertising and tailored messages.

Not only are millennials open to social media monitoring, but they are also more likely to be inclined to pass on their feelings of a product, service or brand via social word of mouth.

Millennial Australians have the best understanding of how companies use social media monitoring.

This then creates a perpetual cycle in which consumers understand the power of what they're publishing, while also allowing companies to build the feedback into their social media analysis practices.

Digging a little deeper into the demographics explored by Unisys' data, there are even geographic shifts in the perception of social media monitoring. For example, Western Australians are the most receptive of organisations looking to track how they're understood online.

Third and second on the list are occupied by Tasmania and Queensland. Ultimately, the general understanding of social media monitoring seems to be relatively healthy across the country.

Some social users have concerns over privacy, but the majority are still happy to disclose opinions online.

The business benefits

As all of the applicable platforms continue to adapt, their users are becoming more aware of what they post, and who it may be used by.

Companies should look to benefit from this trend and utilise information into targeted campaigns that simultaneously boost rapport with customers and build branding in the social space - this is only possible when leveraging the right social media monitoring tools.

Australia is a market that is fortunate enough to be home to progressive media consumers, meaning that there's an honesty to their interactions that is worth assessing.

Therefore, the fact that they are open to idea of social listening should be embraced by companies looking to tap into the nation's informed consumers.

Of course, the best way to gain access to all of that insight is to follow media monitoring best practices and find the right tools to help. Once that's been achieved, unlocking the wealth of information that Australians are happy to publish in the online space can be made that much easier.

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