What’s New With Social Media Marketing? Try Keeping Up!
The Only Thing New With Social Media Marketing Is Change, Change, and More Change!
Make no mistake; social media marketing is here to stay. Recent research by E Marketer highlights growing trends in the social media landscape and changes in usage by age groups. The following graph illustrates estimated usage in 2015 worldwide:
One especially interesting change is the growth in the over 65 age group. Seniors are seeing the benefits of social media use to keep up with family, share memoires and track hobbies. This demographic is estimated to add almost 17 million users by the end of 2016.
Here is a snapshot of the most popular social media networks and their marketing opportunities.
When examining individual social media networks, Facebook continues to be the most popular.
Facebook is still the gold standard for advertisers, effectively reaching large numbers of target customers at a comparatively low cost (although that cost will be going up soon – stay tuned.)
Facebook will boast about amassing almost 161 Million users by the end of 2016. The largest group, 25 to 34 year olds, use it for everything from rating their favorite brands, writing reviews, sharing vacation photos or expanding their skills for work and leisure.
The younger 18 to 24 year old age group is slowly losing loyalty to Facebook. Other networks, such as Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr are piquing the interest of younger social media users. It is expected that several million users between 18 and 24 will leave Facebook in the next 24 months, as demonstrated in the following graph.
Also demonstrated in the above graph, you’ll see Facebook’s senior crowd keeps growing. It is the most accessible and friendly of all networks for seniors, and millions of seniors are expected to join in the next 2 years.
The photo-sharing site Instagram is the second largest social network and growing daily, with over 60 million users. Almost two thirds of their users are under 25 and have created the pop culture ‘selfie’ phenomenon. Trends indicate that as the users age they loose interest in this photo-centric network, with dwindling numbers in the over 35-age group. While Instagram is experimenting with national brand advertising, trackable results are pending.
As Twitter grows in popularity, advertisers are concerned about the need to include it in their planning. Currently Twitter has roughly 53 million users worldwide, representing only about one third of social media users. The 18 to 34 year old age group represents half of the Twitter users. While Twitter gets a lot exposure in popular culture, it may not be the best fit for a small or regional advertiser.
Pinterest has over 43 million users, with an increase of 3 or 4 million expected in the next year. Like Twitter, its base followers (roughly half) are between 18 to 34 years old. Pinners use the site as a sharable visual storyboard for exchanging ideas. Advertisers with highly visual products or services can find success ‘pinning’ ideas. For traditional products or services, budgets may be better spent elsewhere.
Tumblr is also one of the up and coming social networks, with approximately 19 million users currently. It tries to combine the best of sharing from Facebook, images from Pinterest and traditional blogging (which often cannot find an audience). Tumblr is often thought of as a ‘topic-based image blogging platform’. Tumblr is populated by the under 35 crowd and is certainly a network to keep an eye out for with regard to future advertising potential.
Best social media practices dictate quality over quantity. If you want to venture into social media marketing, pick the one or two networks that best fit your brand personality and target customers. As with all advertising: be creative, target carefully and monitor your results!