PEW Research Shows a Shift in Social Media

Like all things, social media platforms age and as these sites develop and grow – so do their users. Users that were once frequent and active participants in a social media site either leave or become in active. In replacement of those users, new users enter a social media community and implement their own ethos upon it.  It is important for marketers to be aware of the demographic shifts that occur as a social media site develops over time, to insure that the proper channels are being used to reach target audiences.

Source: entmoney.com
Source: entmoney.com

A study published by Pew Research Center in February 2013, entitled The Demographics of Social Media Users – 2012, surveyed 1,802 respondents in North America ranging in age from 18 to 65+ to uncover the patterns and demographic migration on social media. The study found that respondents who are 18 to 29 years of age are 83% more likely to be involved in social media, 30 to 49 year olds made up the second largest group using social media and 84% of those who were 50+ were active on social media sites. The social media sites profiled were Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. When looking at the usage of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram the activity and usage surrounding these social media sites were the most interesting, they are as follows:

  • Twitter had the heaviest users within the 18 to 29 age bracket with 16% using the site. This is a 10% decline from a previous study by Pew Research, conducted in 2011 where 26% of people in this demographic were active users.  Another Pew Research found in a study on teenagers’ (12 to 17) uses of social media and privacy that 24% of young teens use Twitter, which is an increase of 16% from 2011 in this age group. Marketers should be aware of this shift in young users on social media platforms such as Twitter, since much of the marketing on Twitter currently geared towards the 18-29 demographic.
  • Instagram is most popular with those who are under 50 years of age and its users are more likely to be women. Reinforcing the findings by Pew Research Center, a recent Nielson study, found that Instagram is the top photo sharing site for teens with over one million users in the 12 to 17 age demographic. With Instagram combining with Facebook, there is now an increase in teenagers using Facebook more than ever before (approximately 94%).
  • Facebook not only has new teen users but Pew Research had also found that two thirds of adults have and use Facebook, and that 92% of those adults surveyed are 50 or older. This is a huge demographic switch for a site founded and projected in the media a very “college based” audience. Older users in social media sites could allow for more opportunities to push e-commerce based marketing campaigns as these are the demographics with heavy spending power.

The demographics of social media seem to be switching to two main age groups the very young (12 to 17) and the more mature (50+). While those in the 18-29 demographic are still active on social media sites, they are removing themselves from them more frequently than any other demographic. Another study completed by Pew Research released in 2013, wrote about something called “Facebook Fatigue”, in which it was found that 61% of adult Facebook users would take a break from using the social media site. It is expected that in 2013, 38% of Facebook’s former core demographic, 18 to 29 year olds, would spend less time or remove themselves completely from the site. This extreme shift in Facebook user demographics is a clear example of how marketers need to be ready and be able to adapt to new demographics when using social media as a marketing tool.

Marketers must be mindful what their target demographic is using before spending large amounts of capital to reach out to an audience that is assumed to be using a social media site. It is also important to take advantage of the tools provided by social media sites to help marketers. For example, Facebook has an age feature that allows for ads to be pushed to specific age groups.  Most recently – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have all taken steps to better cater to their younger demographic users by increasing their video capabilities and the ability for marketers to use video to reach video centric audiences. Remaining informed on who is using a social media site and using tools provided by  the social media sites to help you reach your target demographic – guarantees you won’t fall victim to a social media demographic shift or fatigue.

Pinterest Users = Shoppers

People all over America have been “jamming out” over one of America’s oldest licensed brands – Ball Home Canning – Mason jars. The brand, owned by Jarden Home Brands, has a 96% brand awareness but has struggled in the past to get consumers to try their product. That was until two years ago when the Mason jar had renaissance, all thanks to social media and one key player – Pinterest. Within one year of establishing its presence on Pinterest, Ball’s fans approached over 4,000 and had boards dedicated to the many uses of the Mason jar including – chandeliers, terrariums and soap dispensers. What was the Pinterest activities result? According to a recent article in Ad Age a 20% increase in sales for 2012 and one of the best sales years on record.

Image via AdAge.com
Image via AdAge.com

While Pinterest does not have ecommerce capabilities yet – it remains a major social media sales driver. In a recent article on Mashable.com, Waiyfair, a home goods company active in Pinterest, found that those shoppers referred to their site were 10% more likely to make a purchase than those who were referred by Facebook or Twitter. Waiyfair did not include non-social users – those who browse but do not have an account or pin. On average it was found that those social/non-social users referred by Pinterest spent 70% more than those who were not.

So how do businesses use Pinterest to their advantage? The first step is to pin! Many successful brands on Pinterest don’t just pin their own items but create inspiration boards for customers allowing them to more fully engage in the Pinterest community. A great example of this is a recent marketing campaign by Kotex, in which they took 50 women that inspired them on Pinterest and created items on their Pinterest board. The women were then sent packages filled with their wish list or pinned items and Kotex branded products, when they received their packages the women then pinned images of the packages. As a result Kotex was able to get 2,284 interactions and 694,853 impressions due to the active users of Pinterest.

So get pinning, find your customers and building your brand!!

Goodbye Facebook

Today, I woke up and did my usual morning routine. Roll out of bed, feed cat, roll back into bed, grab smart phone, and check Facebook. Except for today when I logged onto Facebook I had sudden realization – Facebook is not for me. I’m tired of getting ads because somehow Facebook’s back end has determined what I like or the constant changing of UI without any user testing or choice. And as it turns out I am not the only one feeling the Facebook fatigue.f_logo

According to a “recent Pew Research Center project found that 42 per cent of young adults between 18 and 29 reported spending less time on Facebook in a typical day last year than in 2011. Their age group was also the most likely to anticipate decreased use this year” (Mills par 7). Facebook is a company built on this demographic – what happens now when it’s core set of users is depleting? Is Facebook the next MySpace? (I know MySpace made a “come back” but ask yourself – do you use it?)

Many of those surveyed many said they were too busy, weren’t interested or waste of time/bad content (Van Grove par 3). The key to a good site is rich content and Facebook’s changes have caused that content quality to go down. Even busy people will check a website filled with rich content. Granted we can’t change someone who posts all about what they have been eating but Facebook can change the kinds of ads we see and how our content is received. Quality is what Facebook seems to be forgetting. If the content of Facebook doesn’t improve how can things like Facebook Home truly be successful?

The Pew study also said that many users do end up going back to Facebook after a time. As one student put it, “They’re on Facebook, you sort of have to be. But there’s a subtle guilt associated with it, or a realization that it’s not a choice. Something that’s not a choice isn’t necessarily as cool as it used to be” (Mills par 10).  Let’s hope I don’t start feeling guilty to soon.

References:

Mills, Carys. “‘Facebook fatigue’ and the aging social network | Toronto Star.” thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada’s largest daily. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

Van Grove, Jennifer. “Study: Facebook fatigue — it’s real | Internet & Media – CNET News.” Technology News – CNET News. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

Trends for 2013

2013 represents a new year for not just individuals, but industries as well. In the print media industry, as we all know, things are constantly changing – so what will be the trends and changes for the industry in 2013? I give my top 5 picks in no particular order.

The Actual Practice of a Buzz Word

Cross Media Marketing – it is the buzzword that got thrown out a lot in the past couple of years in the print media industry. However, 2012 was the year when consumers really saw the applications of it come to them in full force: for example, the Chick-fil-A add campaign that blew up marketing blogs and Forbes Magazine. Chick-fil-A did this by sending out a direct mail piece to loyal customers using a PURL that drove these customers to Facebook that captured more information and received a special promotion. After that information was captured, customers could share the promotion with their Facebook friends and encourage new people to sign up. The results? Increased store activation or loyalty cards by 104% (Incubator, 2012).

From Chik-Fil-A
From Chik-Fil-A

With the success of this campaign in 2012, you can bet we will be seeing more of this in 2013.

Pantone Everything….

Pantone announced in December 2012 that Emerald green was to be the color of the year in 2013, but the presence of the company has expanded much further (Pantone.com). The popularity of the company and Pantone products really entered the market place in 2012. From the cellphone cases in Urban Outfitters to the new eye palettes just released by Sephora for 2013 – Pantone is turning into less of a color system and more of a marketing tool for larger chains. With the rise in customization in everything else, why wouldn’t someone want to have their own Pantone color just for them?

From beautezine.com
From beautezine.com

Get ready world, Pantone is no longer for print geeks, it’s for the mass market now.

Things Will Get Wider

EFI, one of the world’s leaders in wide format inkjet technology, during a showcase “highlighted the enormous potential growth opportunities in color digital printing for display graphics, predicted to grow by 20% year-on-year, and for digital label printing with 35% growth” for 2013 (Francis, par 3). As need for personalization grows even more in 2013 the use of wide format inkjet will increase. These printers allow for the single one stop shop digital system that includes finishing – an amazing addition for turnaround and those looking to get into wide format production (Francis, par 5).

From EFI
From EFI

Everyone Gets the Luxury Treatment

With the rise in digital magazines and open access to well designed publications online, one might think that the days of the printed book are over. That may only be half true. As digital publishing grows, really beautiful luxury printed books will rise. Luke O’Neill, author of the graphic design book, Computer Arts Collection, was quoted as saying “In 2013, I think there will be continued experimentation with print techniques and innovative finishes to really enhance the experience for the consumer who still likes to hold something in their hands” (Carney, par 13). Recent publications, like the graphic novel, Building Stories by Chris Ware offer just that experience to readers by incorporating multiple pieces of printed materials to make a unique story (check this book out it is AMAZING).

From Smithsonian
From Smithsonian

You Must Respond

In 2013 there is one thing everyone can count on – more digital devices. Whether it is iPhone version 55 or a new monitor, we are going to have more ways to look at cats online than ever before. That is why responsive design for media devices will become more important than ever (Qayyum, par 4). In combination with multi-touch campaigns, this trend will blend across multiple platforms.

From Creative Blog
From Creative Blog

References:

• Carney, R. (n.d.). Design trend predictions for 2013 | Design | Creative Bloq. Creative Bloq | Your daily dose of design tips and inspiration | Creative Bloq. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from http://www.creativebloq.com/design/trend-predictions-2013-11121414
• (2012). Chik-fil-A. Incubator, 3, 30.
• Francis, J. (n.d.). EFI showcases product roadmap at Connect. Print Week. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from http://www.printweek.com/news/1167385/EFI-showcases-product-roadmap-Connect/?DCMP=ILC-SEARCH
• Johnson, P. (n.d.). Chick-fil-A Introduces the Next Hot New Trend in Marketing – Forbes. Information for the World’s Business Leaders – Forbes.com. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/philjohnson/2012/08/10/chick-fil-a-introduces-the-next-new-trend/
• Pantone. (n.d.). Pantone. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from http://www.pantone.com
• Qayyum, A. (n.d.). Six Expected Web Design Trends in 2013. Free Online Resources For Developers, Designers and Photographers @Smashing Hub. Retrieved January 18, 2013, from http://smashinghub.com/web-design-trends-in-2013.htm
• Sephora. (n.d.). Pantone Universe + Sephora. Retrieved January 17, 2013, from http://www.sephora.com