In a recent U.S. college survey by Fluent marketing and insights, conducted in March 2016, students between the ages of 17-24, (a.k.a. Gen Z) were asked about the social media platforms they use most. The results are not surprising with Facebook getting a resounding, 67%, Snapchat at 51% and Instagram at 50%. Predictably the Snapchat phenomenon is continuing unabated with the steady rise of this platform worrying the Facebook executives. 33% of respondent stated they have increased usage of Snapchat and no major increase in the use of Facebook.
However, it was found that Facebook retains its dominant position in the social media sphere, being the favoured platform for friends, family, and brands. But the findings indicate it needs to keep evolving if it is to keep its position as the default social media platform of choice. Snapchat and Instagram appear to be used by Gen Z for tighter close-knit friendships or groups.
The survey’s most interesting findings revealed what the platforms are being primarily used for.
Facebook is the Daddy. Primarily being used for general digital profiles and regarded as necessary. Regarding advertising on Facebook, respondents indicated they preferred display ads as opposed to news feed ads. Despite Facebook heavily promoting video lately, respondents still favour using specific video platforms like You Tube.
Snapchat & Instagram: The good buddy platforms. These platforms are used several times a day by the respondents and are used to communicate with close friends and their campus community. They are open to ads on these platforms if they are brief and not pretending to be content which is perceived as disingenuous.
YouTube & Pinterest are brand central. Respondents follow brands and celebrities on all channels, but they seem to favour interaction with brands on Youtube and Pinterest. They also like following celebrities on these platforms. Twitter is also popular for following celebs. Respondents expect ads on these platforms, as they seem more brand oriented. Adverts that service a need or address issues they care about are usually clicked on. The quality of visual content in Snapchat and You Tube, promote repeat visits, in contrast, branded stories or celebrity endorsements do not engage respondent enough to buy a product.
Time is of the essence, but video is king. Most respondents (74%) spend more than two hours a day on social media with just under half (44%) spending more than four hours a day. Video is popular on all platforms with You Tube, as expected being the top provider. Two-thirds of respondent watch up to two hours of video a day for entertainment, this may happen over several visits during this time. Unusually live streaming video conversation were not as popular as these figures would suggest, with in-person contact being the preferred method of communication.