If you’re plugged into the social media wire, and you follow the trends, you already know that interest in Facebook has waned among teens because they say it’s just too much drama for their taste. If you’re in the marketing and advertising world, social media is the platform to pay attention to. With all the photo-sharing apps, blog sites, and social media stalwarts like Facebook and Twitter, you need to understand the current breakdown in social media.
Facebook is still the largest social media site in the world. With over 1.1 billion people around the world having a Facebook page, it really is hard to compete with. That being said, Facebook is losing is stronghold in at least some of the age demographics. Earlier this year, a study from the Pew Research Center showed that interest was down in the younger demographic. It seems that blogging about your life just isn’t cool anymore in the 12-17 year-old category. The interesting thing about the results Pew published was that 77 percent of that same demographic has a Facebook page. As of yet, there still isn’t a social medium that has popped up to take its place. So while they may be tired of reading about mom-and-dad drama, and who stole who’s boyfriend, there isn’t a replacement yet.
Now that we know who isn’t interested in Facebook, we need to know who is. The fastest growing demographic on Facebook is 45- to 54-year-old women. There has been a 46 percent spike since 2012 in that key demographic, according to Business Insider. If you’re in marketing, you know that a surge in interest from that age group can be a good thing. Their average income is about $75,000. There’s some disposable income there, and women are the household decision-makers. For now, it’s safe to say that Facebook is still the reigning king of social media.
The micro blogging site is just behind Facebook in popularity. Twitter continues to grow rapidly as well. The Pew Research Center published it’s Twitter study showing that Twitter users have more than doubled since 2010. Unlike Facebook’s growing demographic of older women, Twitter has taken off in popularity with the 18- to 29-year-old demographic. Less of a long-winded sounding board, Twitter caps it’s tweets to only 140 characters. In fact, most posts tend to be even less than the allotted 140 users are allowed. Twitter is pretty gender neutral too; interest being high with both men and women. Most users are in urban settings, and are also in the $75,000 salary range. So while the jury is still out on whether Twitter is actually going to be able to live up to its initial IPO offering, chances are that it has a pretty good chance based on its user profiles.
The mobile platform is a huge component of both Twitter and Facebook’s popularity. Over 50% of both social sites audiences are accessing them via the mobile platform. In fact, Twitter has reported that its mobile advertising revenue has now outpaced its desktop revenue. Many users have reported a preference for the mobile platform because of its ease and access, and because its advertising is more integrated into the news feeds.
Instagram and Other Photo-Sharing Apps
Facebook bought Instagram for about $1 billion in order to reach out to that coveted younger demographic all social media sites are scrambling for. Photo-sharing apps are rated high among the 12- to 30-year-old users. Less a platform to complain about your life, job, and political ideologies, Instagram is more about just having fun posting photos. We adults, (those of us over 25) are less likely to be as interested in Instagram. In fact, only 13percent of adults use the social media app. Instagram is also more popular with women than men.
Just recently, Facebook announced plans to monetize Instagram. Forbes reports that the advertising platform will only be available for its North American sites until advertising dollars start flowing in. Real cash won’t start accumulating through Facebook for a while, but it is showing promise, especially if it’s based on Facebook’s current model of news-feed ads.
As if marketers needed one more blogging site to be scratching their head about, along comes Tumblr. Its key demographic is 18- to 29-year olds. Pew found that only 6 percent of adults over 25 are using Tumblr or are even very interested in it. Primarily a photo blogging sites Yahoo bought the company earlier this year for $1.1 billion in cash. Tumblr is appealing to both genders, and really has no hold on any specific income range. Just as appealing to a lower income range as a higher one, it has a growing base amongst college and high school students.
Tumblr hasn’t really received a lot of attention from the marketing community. The Wall Street Journal named it as the social media site that’s appealing to the millennial generation. Tumblr users are also adapting rapidly to mobile usage, and that’s one of its fastest growing platforms.
Marketers need to figure out what all this data means for them, and how it will help them use social media to reach out to loyal audiences. They also need to figure out how to use it as a means to break through to a new one. Social media is the platform that billions of people around the world are using as their go-to. The landscape of social media is ever changing. It isn’t a stagnant marketing tool, and it isn’t meant to be. By 2017, Business Insider is estimating a $10 billion advertising revenue for social media sites. For the time being, Facebook still has the majority of the world’s users, and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon. But as each of these social sites goes public with an IPO, and then offers up advertising platforms and strategies, advertising and marketing through social media is where the market is trending.