With all the social media sites and messaging apps out there, it can be next to impossible to keep up on all of them. Do you really want to manage a Twitter, a Facebook, an Instagram, a WhatsApp, a Pinterest, a Snapchat, a LinkedIn, and a YouTube account? If so, your social media management would be a nightmare!
According to a 2018 Pew Research Center Study, most people don’t. In fact, the majority of Americans use only three social media platforms. So, how do you decide which media sites are right for your preferred social networking?
Choosing a social network is a little like choosing a game console. Some people love Facebook and Xbox, others swear by their Instagram and their PlayStation. For the rest of us who don’t really have a strong feeling, either way, it can come down to where our friends are.
We looked at Pew’s research data to see what the hottest social media channels were for “twentysomethings.” If you’re looking to consolidate your social media footprint in business through media marketing while still staying in touch with all your friends, here are three platforms that put the “social” in social media.
YouTube dominates social media not only among twentysomethings but among all Americans under the age of 65. 88 percent of those between 25 and 29 years of age are active users, and 94 percent of those between 18 and 24 years of age are users. It’s hard to grow from there. Seriously, everyone is using it.
YouTube’s appeal is easy to see. Back in the old days, people used to pay thousands of dollars for clunky camcorders, all so they could play vacation videos for their friends on their VCRs. Since everyone now has a smartphone, we can all be famous internet stars—or share funny cat videos or similar content—on YouTube.
It’s also a great streaming service. You can post a fun video for your friends, then catch the latest Cardi B track on the same app. Even if you’re not posting your own content, YouTube videos are everywhere online. They’re embedded in blogs and other social networking sites and posted all over other social media. Since it’s pretty much impossible to use the internet without using YouTube, it belongs in your top three sites.
The original and still one of the best, Facebook is the second most popular social media site among twentysomethings. 82 percent of those between 25 and 29 years of age were active users of this social networking platform in 2018. Usage was down slightly among those between 18 and 24 years of age, at 80 percent. There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about a shrinking user base and Russian hackers, but even if Facebook is losing numbers, they’re still a hugely popular site with tons of users.
Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in 2004 as a project to connect students at Harvard University. It quickly became so popular that it quickly expanded outside the university, and became the world’s first social network. This is probably a huge part of its continuing popularity. If you had a social media account between 2004 and 2006, you had a Facebook account. That was it.
Most brands and popular personalities use Facebook. It’s a common destination for people looking to keep up on their favorite artist or companies. Facebook also used to be a news source but scaled that function back after the controversy around the 2016 US election.
One other thing that sets Facebook apart from other social media sites is that it does everything. Want to post videos, like you can on YouTube? Facebook does that. Want to post pictures, like on Snapchat or Instagram? Facebook does that, too. Want to share your thoughts in a status like you can do on Twitter? You can do that, and you get as many characters as you want. Want to set up a professional page like you would on LinkedIn? You can create one on Facebook. You can also play games with your friends, which makes it even more addictive.
Last year, Snapchat surpassed Instagram to become the third most popular social media platform among twentysomethings. This was driven by its huge popularity among millennials and other young users. Only 54 percent of Snapchat users between 25 and 29 years of age were active users last year, compared to a whopping 71 percent of those between 18 and 24. With this huge, younger user base, Snapchat is sure to be even bigger in the future.
Snapchat lets you share pictures or short videos with your friends, which is ideal for young adults. These “snaps” can be shared privately and set to disappear after the recipient closes them, or shared publicly in your story. With the introduction of filters in 2015, Snapchat’s popularity exploded. Filters use face detection technology to put fun effects on your photos, like swapping faces with your friends or turning yourself into an animal.
If you’re young, Snapchat is a must-have for keeping up with your friends. What’s more, based on its current growth, more and more people are going to be using it in the future.
Other Things to Consider
There are other things you may want to think about when choosing a social media platform. Some of these are:
- Are you a young professional or independent contractor? If you are, you might want to think about setting up a LinkedIn account for the best social media marketing. LinkedIn is a purely professional network. It can be a convenient way to separate important, work-related posts from silly videos you share with friends.
- Are you working in journalism or the arts? Journalists and artists congregate on Twitter. If you’re working in one of these industries, setting up a Twitter account is a must. You’ll be able to hear the latest news from industry leaders and stay on board with current events.
- Do you sell things online? If you sell things online, Pinterest can be a great way to get your products out to your customers. It’s primarily popular with women, while only 16 percent of men use the site, so also consider this if you’re trying to sell things there.
Choosing the right platform for social networking isn’t easy. We’ve shared the three most popular social media platforms among twentysomething social media users, but these may not be the right sites for you. Consider what you’re looking to get out of a social network as well as what your friends are using, and you’ll find three that work for you.