What are online behavior trends of social media usage for the average “middle Australia” women, age range 40~55?

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What are online behavior trends of social media usage for the average “middle Australia” women, age range 40~55?

Australian women, aged 40 to 55, are active on a range of social media platforms and messenger services, with more than two-thirds of women in their 40s using social media every day. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are popular with women in their 40s, declining in popularity with women in their 50s and older, while LinkedIn becomes more popular with women as they enter their 50s; Facebook Messenger is the most widely-used messenger service, followed by WhatsApp and Viber. Australian women in this age range use social media to catch up with friends and family, share photos, and receive information or news. Almost all Australian women access social media from home, while some also use it at work or on public transport. Women are embracing new technologies and devices, such as tablets and wearable technologies. Women in rural Australia are a growing demographic within social media, with women on Australian farms increasingly using social media to connect with consumers and tell their stories.

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

Australian women in their 40s (40-49) have an average of 215 friends on Facebook, 281 followers on Twitter, 214 followers on Instagram, 93 on Snapchat, 125 contacts on Google+, and 173 contacts on LinkedIn. Numbers for women in their 50s and beyond (50-64) decline on most of these platforms, reducing to 142 on Facebook, 94 for Twitter, 97 on Instagram, 52 for Snapchat, and 45 for Google+; LinkedIn is the only platform where the number of contacts increases for older Australian women (50-64), rising to 274. Australian women also use messaging services, with usage remaining steady as women move from their 40s (40-49) to their 50s (50-64); Facebook Messenger is the most popular (82%/78%), followed by WhatsApp (24%/25%), and Viber (24%/17%).

Frequency of USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Over two-thirds of Australian women in their 40s (61%) use social media every day; this drops to 40% as women enter their 50s (50-64). Only 14% of women in their 40s never use social media, but this number increases substantially to 34% for women aged 50 to 64. For the remaining women, social media is used in degrees varying from less than weekly to a few times a week.

REASONS FOR USING SOCIAL MEDIA

The main reason women (aged 40-49/50-64) use social media is to catch up with friends and family (90%/88%); this is followed by sharing photographs or videos (54%/40%), and getting information on news and current events (43%/36%). Further reasons include:-

Coordinate parties or other shared activities (19%/18%).
Follow or find out about particular brands or businesses (18%/22%).
Find out about entertainment events (25%/18%).
Play games (23%/15%).
Follow particular brands for offers or promotions (18%/14%).
Research products and services to buy (17%/16%).
Find or connect with people with the same interests (25%/23%).
Meet new friends (16%/8%).
Provide reviews/blogs about products they bought (7%/6%).
Pressure from family and friends to use social media (6%/9%).
Engage with a government representative or department (5%/10%).
Watch videos (48%/25%).
Follow celebrities, bloggers, or social media personalities (20%/4%).
Learn more about someone they have just met (13%/9%).
Learn more about someone they are yet to meet (6%/4%).
Engage with brands for customer service issues (12%/10%).
Furthermore, around a quarter (26%/22%) of Australian women in this age bracket have used social media to participate in a public conversation about a topical issue.

GENERAL TRENDS

Almost all (97%) females access social media from home, while 26% do so at work, with public transport the next popular place to do so. The lounge, living, bedroom, study, and kitchen are all popular areas of the home where women use social media.

Women are more engaged with different types of technologies than men; women are more likely to own a tablet, and women are ahead of men when it comes to wearable technologies that offer opportunities for social media use, such as Apple Watches and Fitbits.

On a negative note, there has been a link between women's use of social media and lower self-esteem. An Australian study found a correlation between frequent use of social media by women and a greater risk of body dissatisfaction. The analysis, which assessed six independent studies totaling 1,829 women up to the age of 46, found a link between the frequency of looking at social networking sites and the internalization of the "thin ideal."

RURAL WOMEN

In recent years, social media has been adopted by Australian women living in rural areas, such as female farmers. When Vivien Thomson gained the top job at Australian Women in Agriculture in 2013, she revealed her plans to use social media to connect more women across the country, saying that Facebook and Twitter are helping farmers stay in touch.

In 2014, the Australian Cane Farmers Association offered an E-Leaders Social Media Program, giving 20 women the opportunity to take part in a nine-week program focusing on building skills in social media strategy.

Sophie Hansen won the 2016 Rural Woman of the Year thanks to a plan to help farmers harness social media to tell their own stories, and connect consumers with food.

CONCLUSION

Australian women, aged 40 to 55, are active on a range of social media platforms, with Facebook Messenger being the most widely-used messenger service. Australian women in this age range use social media to catch up with friends and family, and they mostly use social media at home. Women are embracing new technologies and devices, but social media use among females has been linked to lower self-esteem. Women in rural Australia are a growing demographic within social media, with women on Australian farms increasingly using social media to connect with consumers and tell their stories.

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