Executive Summary

The online social landscape has evolved immensely in the past few years with more experience and understanding of consumer behaviours on the online platforms. No longer is social media the 'secret element' of digital strategy but a tried and tested platform that businesses in Australia and worldwide are using to reach their consumer audiences.

With a saturation of businesses aiming to promote their businesses online, it has become more imperative than ever to intimately understand your consumer groups, especially as greater emphasis is placed on paid promotion and advertising. This month we revisit our topic of Western Australia Facebook Demographics from two years ago with the latest figures across years, age groups and genders on the social media giant, Facebook.

Findings

Segment Year Male Female Both
13-19 years 2015 91,000 94,000 190,000
2014 98,000 100,000 198,000
2013 102,000 104,000 206,000
20-29 years 2015 220,000 210,000 440,000
2014 220,000 200,000 420,000
2013 240,000 220,000 460,000
30-39 years 2015 170,000 170,000 340,000
2014 144,000 154,000 298,000
2013 300,000 320,000 620,000
40-49 years 2015 110,000 140,000 250,000
2014 94,000 120,000 214,000
2013 180,000 220,000 400,000
50-59 years 2015 77,000 100,000 180,000
2014 62,000 84,000 146,000
2013 114,000 156,000 270,000
60-64 years 2015 23,000 33,000 57,000
2014 18,000 26,000 44,000
2013 68,000 88,000 156,000
65 years+ 2015 38,000 49,000 89,000
2014 28,000 34,000 62,000
2013 44,000 54,000 98,000
TOTAL 2015 729,000 796,000 1,546,000
2014 664,000 718,000 1,382,000
2013 1,048,000 1,162,000 2,210,000

Perhaps the most intriguing insight into the Facebook audience is that the total uptake of the service in Western Australia has dramatically decreased over the past 3 years. From its peak in 2013, the service now in 2015 has plunged with 664,000 fewer users - that's a 30% reduction! The female audience is typically greater across segments, overall forming a ratio of 52% female and 48% male.

13-19

The 13-19 year old group has seen a small decline in audience across the past 3 years, a total of 16,000 users less than 2013 with a 1% change in the gender ratio. Of course since the last analysis, a large number of users within each age segment will have migrated into the next target group however this still represents the total available users businesses can potentially target within each group.

20-29

The 20-29 age group is the most steadfast age segment in our analysis with only a 4% change since 2013. As one of the largest target groups, this change still represents a decrease of 20,000 users, larger than 13-19 age group. Interestingly, it is the only segment where the male audience outweighs the females, at 51% male and 49% female.

30-39

The 30-39 age group was previously the largest group in in 2013, amounting to 620,000 users. A 45% change in the user group saw a loss of 280,000 users, resulting at 340,000 users overall in 2015, putting it into the second position behind the 20-29 age group. Like most segments the female audience was larger than the male target however in 2015 the group is on par at 170,000 users each.

40-49

Consistent with all other age segments, the 40-49 age group experienced a steep decline in 2014 and a small increase through to 2015. Overall, the audience declined 38%, or 150,000 users, with a 1% fluctuation in gender ratio in favour of females, now at 56%.

50-59

A similar story rang true for the 50-59 age group, with audience levels down 33% on 2013 figures. The percentage of male audience however has grown over the period, up 2% to 44%.

60-64

The 60-64 age group was the most affected by changes in recent years with a 64% nosedive in audience numbers. To put it into perspective however, this change saw a difference of 99,000 users, still only about a third of those lost in the 30-39 age group. Interestingly though, the 60-64 age group has the largest proportion of female audience at 59%, climbing up 3% since 2013.

65plus

The 65+ age group was the least affected group since 2013, with only a 9% decrease in audience which translates to a difference of 9,000 users. Proportionally the 20-29 group did experience a smaller decrease but the drastic difference in user volume made the difference greater.

Summary

A similar story was seen across age segments with a steep decline in user numbers in 2014 and small rise in 2015.

Proportionally there are a larger number of female audience users active on Facebook which does pose the question of gender targeting when posting online. The largest female majority exists in the 60-64 age group while the 13-19 age group sees the only male majority segment.

The 30-39 age group was once the most prevalent target group online, the departure of 280,000 Facebook users gave a massive hit to the group, now falling behind the 20-29 group.

As the online landscape constantly changes, we need to stay on top of the latest figures to accurately target our user marketing in Western Australia. With more businesses taking social media on board and a smaller audience group to target means there is an oversaturation of brand messaging online. Western Australian businesses must take measures to avoid becoming part of the 'noise' and explore methods that stand out in the cluttered landscape.