How do Sydneysiders use social media?

By: Dr Lynda Kelly, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 12 May 2010

This is a further post on our investigations into how people are actually using social media sites. This outlines a very preliminary analysis of a survey of 1,000 Sydney adults aged over 18 years.

In May, 2010 we sampled 1,000 people living in the greater Sydney region. This online survey asked a range of questions about their museum visiting habits, interests, lifestyle, interest in exhibition topics, as well as repeating the same questions about social media that we asked our physical visitors (reported here). Note that due to a different methodology some of the questions were asked slightly differently in the online survey. Here is a very preliminary analysis of results relating to social media.

Use of social networks

  • 71% have a Facebook account / of these 34% participate multiple times each day, 19% once per day, 13% 3-5 times a week, 15% 1-2 times a week, 20% less often
  • 70% visit Wikipedia / of these 13% had added, edited, deleted a wiki page
  • 72% had watch a movie on YouTube / of these 7% added their own movie
  • 52% had read a blog / of these 23% have their own blog
  • 20% had viewed images on Flickr / of these 23% added their own images
  • 23% had read a tweet / of these 69% have a Twitter account
  • 7% had heard of Foursquare

Again, very few had seen the Museum’s social media sites.

General use of technology

  • 63% are comfortable/extremely comfortable with technology, 31% are OK with it all and 6% find it all a bit much.
  • 55% described themselves as early adopters of technology, 38% dabble a bit but prefer to wait and see and 7% are later adopters.

Are Sydneysiders any different to Museum visitors?

At a first look it appears that Sydneysiders in this study differed from the Museum's physical visitors in the following ways:

  • accessed their Facebook page more often
  • watched YouTube more
  • more of them read blog posts
  • were less comfortable with technology

Are those who have visited us any different?

In this study Sydneysiders were also asked had they visited the Australian Museum in the previous 12 months. Again, a very preliminary scan of the data shows that more AM visitors had accessed YouTube and Flickr, read blogs, read tweets, have a Facebook account, visit Wikipedia and had heard of Foursquare. In short, it appears they are more engaged in the online world than those who hadn’t visited the Museum. This resonates directly with our 2007 study of museum visitors generally and their online habits, again demonstrating that those who visit museums are using these tools in greater numbers and we need to account for this in everything we do.

Where now?

I’ll be looking at these results in more detail across gender and age, as well as whether they had visited a museum/gallery generally. I’ll also conduct some stats tests to check for significances. Watch this space (again I’m not promising anything until June!).


Lynda Kelly - 1.05 PM, 31 May 2010

Thanks Zahava. The sample consisted of 1,000 respondents. In terms of education, cetainly more of those who visited the Museum had tertiary quals. I'm just back now and will be examining the data in much more detail over the next week or so.

Great to see you in the States and take care.

Zahava - 7.05 AM, 24 May 2010
You say up front that you sampled 1,000 people in the Sydney area. How? How many responded? Try controlling for education and see if there are differences between museum-goers and non-goers. Zahava

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