At least once a year for the past 5 years we have seen studies come out about how younger users are abandoning Facebook at a rapid rate and how Facebook is slowly but surely going to become obsolete. However, with 2 billion users and counting, Facebook has reported a 71% increase in profit year over year. It is not going anywhere anytime soon.
It is important to consider usage behaviors by different demographics. The social media landscape has become diverse and competitive allowing users to spend their time in a few different places. A recent study shows that teens and young adults are starting to spend more time with Instagram and Snapchat. Here’s the data.
- Monthly Facebook users will rise 2.4% in 2017. The 12 to 17 age group will decrease by 4% which is the 2nd consecutive year of decline for that age group (there was a 1.2% decrease in 2016).
- Snapchat projects 2017 user growth of 8% in the U.S. with users between 18 and 24 rising by 19.2%.
- Snapchat is projected to overtake both Facebook and Instagram in the 12 to 17 and 18 to 24 age groups with its share of U.S. social network users surging to 8%.
- Instagram is projected to grow 23.8% in the U.S. with users under 12 increasing 19% and the 12 to 17 year-old demographic rising 8.8%.
What does this all mean? Should marketers abandon Facebook to cultivate the younger demographics? Here's what you should do to prepare your social media marketing strategy!
- Put This Data into Perspective. If you want to target teens and tweens, consider including their parents as well. The “I want” come from the kids, but the “I can buy” come from the parents. Cover your bases.
- Test the Waters on Other Platforms. Consider incorporating Instagram and Snapchat into your social media brand bundle. Instagram notoriously sees more brand engagement than any other social channel!
- Be Cautious with Snapchat. Younger users like using Snapchat to connect with other younger users undoubtedly not under the watchful eye of parents. Does that mean that they want your finance company or travel agency content in that channel? Probably not. Meet the users with content that is appropriate for how they use the social channel. If you’re bread and butter audience are teenagers, seriously consider putting an effort behind Snapchat.
- Stay the Course with Facebook. Facebook offers the most robust advertising management system available for social networks. Since they own Instagram, you can use those capabilities to target teens on Instagram and the parents on Facebook...all from one place!
- Don’t Panic! Usage of these channels will ebb and flow over time. When the newest social network comes out there will be studies that say Snapchat is dead too. Keep calm, keep executing your strategy and be open to testing!