Instead of reading the latest articles to keep track of what social media sites teens are using, I conducted my own informal survey. I took my 18-year-old college freshman niece and her roommate to lunch and asked them:
What social media sites do you use, and why?
At age 18, these girls are the end of the millennial generation, and a prime target for marketers. Here’s what they said:
I use Snapchat and Tumblr. I talk to my friends on Snapchat, and read a lot of stories on Tumblr. I like Pinterest too: I pin clothes, craft projects and stuff I like to do. I have Instagram and sometimes I post pictures, but mostly I get tagged by my friends on IG.
- I have a Facebook account, I check it just to see what my family is doing.
- I check Twitter sometimes because my teachers post stuff there and I had to use it to get information for my team schedule.
I’m on Snapchat and Facebook. I talk with my high school friends and family. I like Instagram.
- I don’t use Pinterest or Tumblr.
Next, I asked:
Where do you check your social media?
Both girls check their social media via apps on their smartphones. And seemed surprised that I even asked.
- If you’re marketing to 18-year-old girls, you better be on Snapchat and Instagram.
- Facebook is reliable and familiar: family and friends are there - especially parents – so they rely on Facebook for information and to stay connected.
- Depending on their personal interests, Pinterest and Tumblr are fun to use and have information they want.
- Twitter is a last resort, only if they have no alternatives.
Content marketing is knowing how to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time. The golden rule for content marketers is know your audience. If marketers don’t know what social media sites their target audience uses, they will never understand how to connect with them on social media.
For more details social media demographic statistics and analysis, see the Pew Research Center Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms.
Or, just take two 18-year-olds to lunch.