A recent report shows that Aussies are becoming more and more connected to social media, with 95% of Australian social media users having a presence on Facebook, according to a media release from Sensis.

“We’re seeing major changes in the way Aussies are now using social media,” said Kelly Brough, Executive General Manager, Digital Partnerships and Innovation at Sensis.

The 2013 Yellow™ Social Media Report found that 65% of online Australians are now using social media, up by 3% from 2012. 45% access social media on a daily basis, compared to 36% last year.

The report also revealed that Australians are increasing their usage of mobile devices to access social media.

“The average consumer is now more likely to post a comment or tweet from a mobile device and the number of people using tablets has almost doubled in the past 12 months,” says Brough.

67% of social users access social networking sites using their smartphones, up from 53 per cent in 2012. Tablet usage almost doubled from 18 per cent in 2012 to 35 per cent this year. On the other hand the proportion using laptops and PCs decreased to 64 per cent, down from 69 per cent and 46 per cent, down from 54 per cent last year, respectively.

The younger crowd is also more likely to use mobile devices, while those over 50 stick to the good old computers when accessing social sites.

However while more Australians are making their presence felt on social media, businesses are completely missing the mark by not taking advantage of this trend and building online relationships with their customers.

According to the report, only 30% of Australian small businesses are using social media. Of this figure, 29% do not have a clear strategy to drive traffic to their social media sites. Investment in social media decreased in the last year with small businesses spending on average $1,970 (down from $3,410 in 2012). This is about 13.7% of the marketing budget.

Consumers are also attracted by discounts and giveaways, but only 28% of small businesses offer these incentives on their social media sites. The report also provides significant figures for medium sized enterprises.

“More Australian consumers are using social media to inform their purchasing decisions. This presents small and medium businesses with clear opportunities to build customer relationships and potential sales however our research shows that businesses are not effectively engaging with these channels,” said Ms Brough.

Geographically, businesses with  social media presence is greatest in Western Australia (34%), while Northern Territory SMEs are the least active (23%).

With these data it’s puzzling that a majority of small and medium businesses do not realize the benefits of having an online marketing strategy using social media. There are several ways that businesses can measure how