In 2022:

  • Social media influences behaviour as much as communication from Government
  • People are not listening to business and community leaders
  • Risk of misinformation on social media grew in the wake of COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, and the Federal Election

Sydney, NSW – The power of social media to influence people’s behaviour is growing as Australians tuned out to other sources of information.

This is the key finding from the latest Togetherness Index released today by strategic communication consultancy SenateSHJ.

Despite concerns about the risk of misinformation on social media, it is becoming as effective as communication from Government, business and the media.

Almost two fifths (37%) of Australians see the information they find on social media, from sources other than friends and family, as effective in keeping them informed. This is the same level as the Federal Government, and higher than business, community leaders and the media.

Nearly One in five (18%) will act on what they see, read or hear on social media. Nearly three in ten (29%) people feel positive about communication on social media.

Darren Behar, Managing Partner at SenateSHJ, said: “The data indicates it’s never been more important to ensure people are turning to trusted sources online, and how to pick up on misinformation.”

The effectiveness of community leaders fell to 36% from 40%, with people less likely to act on information from these sources compared to a year earlier. There are now fewer people who believe business communication is effective (29%, down from 34%). Just 27% say it is trustworthy. Only a fifth will act on what they hear from business.

Jodie Wrigley, Head of Health and Social Change at SenateSHJ, said: “We have seen a rise in misinformation on social media in the wake of COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, and the Federal Election, which is seen as more effective than media, business and community leaders in keeping us informed. People are feeling fatigued, meaning we need to try harder to reach them.”

The Togetherness Index is based on a survey of 1,000 Australians. The research explores what components of communication contribute to togetherness, or social cohesion, within the community.




The full Togetherness Index report is available here:

Interviews available with:

  •  Jodie Wrigley, Head of Health and Social Change

For further information, contact:

Aaron Prestipino, SenateSHJ Australia, Mob: +61 423 611 394,

Note to editors:

The research was an online survey with a sample size of 1,036 people aged 18+ who use the internet taken from 24 to 31 May 2022. Data was weighted to match the latest Census population statistics for gender, age, state and location, and resembles the Australian population based on these criteria. Fourteen demographic variables were also collected, including religion, country of birth, household income, education, employment status and NESB background