A new report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business 2013-14, reveals the value of e-commerce in the Australian economy jumped 8.2% to $266.8 billion, a new high. The ABS report also shows 47.1% of Australian businesses had a web presence that year, surprisingly steady from a year earlier.
Almost one in three businesses had a social media presence (31%), a jump from 26% a year earlier. Bigger companies (200 or more persons) were more likely to be using social media (66% up from 64% in 2012-13), compared to 42% for businesses with 5-19 persons, up from 34% a year earlier.
The information media and telecommunications industry recorded the highest proportion of businesses with a social media presence (59%), followed by the arts and recreation services industry (56%). In the financial services and insurance sector, almost one in three businesses had a social media presence.
Amanda Watt said the innovative act. business is making its banking products available to the public online and is actively using social media to build awareness and engagement surrounding the social projects for which it seeks crowdfunding.
“Essentially, act. gives customers (activists) the opportunity to earn and donate via an online platform banking profits to a whole range of inspiring, community-focused projects – simply by doing something they already do everyday,” said Watt.
“There are no branches – everything is done over the phone and online. Our customers can decide which community-focussed project to support by visiting letsact.com.au. We give impact dollars back to our customers, who can then donate to a project of their choice, whether they are focussed on the environment, homelessness or protecting animals,” Watt said.
“We build support for these projects and give updates via our social media presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The crowdfunding of such projects has proved more successful using social media, which more easily connects supporters to their projects in a very cost effective way.
“The sharing of video and photos on social media lends itself perfectly to crowdfunding; video sharing, especially on Facebook, is for example growing at a very rapid rate. Moreover, the sharing our stories on social media ensures no geographic boundaries exist, so in Australia projects are shared and funded by people on the other side of the country.”
act. is a newly established banking service that redirect profits back into social projects. The calculator on act.’s banking page reveals how impact dollars customers generate each month by banking with act. Home loans will create the greatest amount of impact dollars. For example, a customer that holds an average first home loan size of $330,000 mortgage with act. could generate approximately $41 a month to reinvest in the social project of their choice. act. is a division of Community Sector Banking – a collaboration between Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Community 21.
“This crowdfunding process enables our customers to give something back to social causes they are passionate about by choosing an act. product. Each project has a time limit of 60 days to get funded and if not enough money is pledged, the money is directed back to the customer to be put towards a different project. All of this is done transparently and quickly online, so consumers know immediately where their impact dollars are going.”
For information on act. call 1300 228 863 or see letsact.com.au.
Media contact: Nicki Bourlioufas, Spot On Content & PR, 0411 786 933 or [email protected]