Every day there’s something new on social media.
Recently, Twitter introduced Twitter Blue, a premium subscription-based version of its platform.
TikTok took the social media world by storm back in 2020 and still remains the most downloaded app of 2021, according to Social Media Today. Instagram is regularly adding new features to its platform, recently testing a new affiliate tool for influencers.
The question is, how are these changes impacting how consumers behave online? Are users moving away from Facebook?
Let’s see what the data says and what it means for brands.
Where do consumers spend the most social time?
Consumers spend the most time on Facebook, followed by YouTube. These two platforms dominate the social media world, each with over 2 billion monthly active users.
We surveyed 301 people and asked, “Which social media platform do you spend the most time on each week?” The response was kind of surprising.
Despite YouTube’s steady growth over the past year and the rise of TikTok and Clubhouse, Facebook remains the top social media platform. YouTube follows, with the gap between the platform and Facebook much smaller in larger surveys.
So, what does this information really mean?
Well, in a broad sense, it means you should consider having a presence on these platforms. However, don’t delete your Instagram account just yet – better yet, don’t delete it at all.
I’ll explain why in the next section.
Should brands limit their efforts to the most popular platforms?
There’s no single, clear-cut answer to this… but typically, no.
While most consumers may spend most of their time on Facebook and YouTube, that doesn’t mean you should dedicate all your efforts entirely to those platforms.
Why? That may not be where your audience lives.
Generality is the enemy of marketing. Imagine running a social media ad that targets everyone. Or having a target audience comprising all of Gen Z.
This sort of one-size-fits-all isn’t conducive to your brand’s growth. In fact, it is likely keeping you from making progress, as you waste time and resources on broad strategies that may not work for your specific market.
It’s like going to a party and only getting an address for the neighborhood. Sure, you could drive around and knock on every door until you find the right one, but by that point, you might be tired, hungry, and out of gas.
When you zero in on a specific audience and strategy, you can gain more valuable insights and get a higher return on investment.
Data, just like the one above, should be used as a general guide to understand consumer behavior. However, it shouldn’t dictate your entire strategy. Your own consumer data and user persona(s) should.
For instance, let’s say you’ve discovered through market research that your audience enjoys consuming information mostly through blogs and podcasts. That’s a good indicator of where you should focus your efforts. In a few years, that data may change, in which case, your team should be flexible and move to where your audience is going.