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Social media survey seeks Territorians’ views

By Louise Errington

Senior Lecturer Susan Bandias is part of the team coordinating a social media study in the NT Senior Lecturer Susan Bandias is part of the team coordinating a social media study in the NT

Love it or loathe it, Territorians have the opportunity to share their views about social media in a survey being conducted by Charles Darwin University.

The study aims to find out more about the social media habits and behaviour of Northern Territory residents, including frequency of use, preferred social media channels and user demographics.

Marketing Lecturer and researcher Dr Rajeev Sharma said that although social media was a powerful community engagement tool, little was known about how NT residents used these channels.

“Australians are avid social media users, with our nation having one of the highest rates of social media participation in the world,” Dr Sharma said.

“Approximately 39 per cent of Australians log on to Facebook each day, and for every hour we spend online, 14 minutes of that time is devoted to social media use.

“Individuals, organisations and not-for-profit organisations are using social media as a communications tool to connect with friends, family and the public; buy and sell online; and follow their favourite brands.”

Dr Sharma said there was a lot of information about social media behaviour coming out of other Australian jurisdictions, but currently there was a gap in knowledge about the impact of this digital phenomenon in the Territory.

“Social media has a great capacity to engage people and build a sense of community, which is really important in geographically isolated areas such as the NT,” Dr Sharma said.

“It can deliver positive effects, such as social inclusion, economic development and enhanced education outcomes, and we are interested in finding out the NT public’s perception of the advantages and disadvantages of social media use.”

CDU Business Senior Lecturer Susan Bandias joins Dr Sharma on the research team.

The questionnaire can be completed by individuals or organisations, and takes less than 15 minutes. Respondents can elect for their responses to remain confidential, and have the opportunity to participate in focus group discussions.

The study is supported by the Northern Territory branches of the Australian Computer Society and Australian Marketing Institute.

The survey is open until 7 December 2013 and is available at W: