The Best Social Media Site for Reaching Teens? Facebook Still Rules
BY Carolyn Cutrone
Why the hype over teenagers fleeing older social media networks is overblown.
Young people might be moving onto a greater number of social media platforms but that doesn't mean they're leaving Faceboook behind. You shouldn't either.
With Facebook's tenth anniversary this week, there's been a ton of talk about teens moving to other platforms like Snapchat and Instagram and leaving Facebook for an older generation. But recent information from the Cassandra Report, a progressive research company that strives to create decision tools for companies, sheds light on the opposite perspective: Sixty-six percent of 14- to 34-year-olds say they are frequent users of Facebook. Additionally, it's their preferred platform to hear from brands along with YouTube, notes the report.
Fifty-five percent of 'mainstream' users and 66 percent of 'trendsetters' prefer to hear from brands on Facebook over YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Snapchat, according to the report, which gathered repsonses in the fall and winter of 2013. The difference between mainstream users and trendsetters is the latter are using more social media platforms overall, and prefer to hear from brands first on YouTube.
The reason Facebook is not rapidly fading away (and likely won't) is because most people have built up their networks to a point where it would take too much work to replicate it on another platform. As the report points out, no other site comes close to allowing individuals to stay connected with everyone they know. This is the precise reason Facebook still is the go-to platform to reach the widest, and most accepting audience for brand marketing.
The challenge? Setting yourself apart.
It's becoming harder and harder for your company to stand out in the complicated and often crowded Facebook news feed which encompasses everything from event invitations to video updates. That's why providing relevant content to each user is so important. And like with email, please, don't spam. Ensure you're using accurate data to identify appropriate potential customers and integrate your brand into their newsfeeds.
Sure Instagram and SnapChat are more popular and frequently used by youth, but before you jump ship on branding, consider the numbers. Even if your audience is mostly teenagers, the proof shows they are still on Facebook and they are not going anywhere anytime soon.