Identify Social Use Segments in 2021

Identify Social Use Segments in 2021

What’s in this article:

  • Pew Research just reviewed its finding of American usage of social media – here’s the breakdown
  • It’s important for marketers to bear in mind which channel is likely to capture the attention of a product’s target market and be sure to use it

Pew Research just reviewed its finding of American usage of social media. While not much has changed over five years in terms of adoption for about 70%, the breakdown by type and segment could be useful to know for targeted marketing.

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YouTube emerges as the primary channel, followed by Facebook. However Facebook did not show substantial growth like YouTube did since 2019. One other channel showed marked increases since then: Reddit.

Here’s the breakdown of the percentage of survey respondents who said they have used a particular social media channel:

  • YouTube 81%.
  • Facebook 69%
  • Instagram 40%
  • Pinterest 31%
  • Snapchat 25%
  • Instragram 23%
  • Twitter 23%
  • Whatsapp 23%
  • Tiktok 21%
  • Reddit 185
  • Nexdoor 13%

But it’s important to note that those breakdowns are for the mix of adults, when you look at segments by generation, the picture alters somewhat because even Facebook users will also use Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

“In fact, a majority of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use Instagram (71%) or Snapchat (65%), while roughly half say the same for TikTok.” In contrast, in the over 65 year-old group, only 2% report using Snapchat.

The generation gap is substantially lower for YouTube usage: “Fully 95% of those 18 to 29 say they use the platform, along with 91% of those 30 to 49 and 83% of adults 50 to 64. However, this share drops substantially – to 49% – among those 65 and older.

Additional demographic differences include the following:

  • WhatsApp: Hispanic Americans (46%) are far more likely to say they use WhatsApp than Black (23%) or White Americans (16%). Hispanics also stood out for their WhatsApp use in the Center’s previous surveys on this topic.
  • LinkedIn: Those with higher levels of education are again more likely than those with lower levels of educational attainment to report being LinkedIn users. Roughly half of adults who have a bachelor’s or advanced degree (51%) say they use LinkedIn, compared with smaller shares of those with some college experience (28%) and those with a high school diploma or less (10%).
  • Pinterest: Women continue to be far more likely than men to say they use Pinterest when compared with male counterparts, by a difference of 30 points (46% vs. 16%).

It’s important for marketers to bear in mind which channel is likely to capture the attention of a product’s target market and be sure to use it rather than merely assume that Facebook will reach most people in general. One size certainly does not fit all when it comes to social media reach.

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