When social media is actually social
Social media has been a household utilization for quite some time now. Though it is used by people of all ages, it is primarily enjoyed by individuals within the teenage group as a lead means of communication.
Many speculate what teens think when operating social media, in terms of what’s cool and what’s churned. But, wouldn’t this hold more validity from the mouth of an actual teen?
A teen in his own words
This is what Andrew Watts set out to accomplish by penning his article “A Teenager’s View on Social Media.” In the article, he gives a brief synopsis of what kids his age think of a given social media platform.
His opinions are based on not only his own social media usage, but what he has observed from friends. And while I was born slightly earlier in the ‘90s than Watts (and may soon begin to lose sight of “what’s cool”), I have to say I agree with what he has to say (and for the sake of this article, will identify with the teenage age group.)
First, he explains that Facebook is “dead” to this generation and is only useful for its group aspect (especially when used for group projects at school). In my travels, I have found this to absolutely be true.
When I was in high school, Facebook was all the rage.
But, the second everyone’s parents started creating accounts, we all ran faster than on a Friday night when the cops busted our keg parties.
And by “we”, I mean my peers… I was never that cool. Anyway, I digress…
So, where is everybody?
Facebook quickly lost its luster and is now a place inundated with only half-true “news” articles. Even though many of us still hold accounts, we are (for the most part) not that active on the timeline.
Where Watts says we are most active is on Instagram.
While we may scroll through Facebook everyday, we are unlikely to post much. But, Instagram is a whole different story. (And, it may be worth noting that as I type this, two teenage-ish girls across from me a Starbucks are discussing a third girl’s Instagram profile.)
People within the age bracket at hand absolutely love acting like amateur photographers and post their favorite memories with the perfect filter. Again, he is right on with this: I find that myself and my friends (both older and younger) identify Instagram as their favorite social media platform.
However, Instagram is not really used as a means for back-and-forth communication.
This is where Snapchat finds ridiculous amounts of popularity.
Not only can you share your favorite memories, but Snapchat gives you an excuse to document anything and everything (while chatting with your friends in the process.)
The Two T’s
Watts also states that, while Twitter is popular, it can sometimes be confusing and is not as actively utilized as a result. He also says that everyone uses Tumblr, but that usage is hush-hush as you generally don’t identify yourself on the blogging site (I’ve always seen it as the social media version of Fight Club.)
Hey, brands, listen up!
So, you’re probably thinking, “Why is this important?” Well, being that teenagers and millennials are the main users of social media, brands should be taking into account where they should be marketing.
Brands have really made a presence on Snapchat by creating their own stories. However, I personally don’t see this as much on Instagram, which is also where the party is at.
Taking into account where these brand influencers are pitching their tent is step one in getting their attention. So, take note from these youngins.