According to Smart Insights (www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing), Facebook is still the most widely used social networking app globally. Instant messenger apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are tied for second place. Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are a little further down the chart, ranked as 7th, 9th, and 11th, respectively. These numbers indicate the number of people worldwide who are using the listed apps. See the chart below for more details. \
Another important measurement to social media marketers is something called “engagement.” Engagement is how much time is spent by people on the respective apps. Not surprisingly, Facebook is still ranked number one, even in the 18-34 year old demographic, clocking in at more than 1,000 minutes per user per month. Wow.
The next app in line for minutes used is Snapchat. While significantly less than Facebook, Snapchat users are averaging approximately 400 minutes of use per month. The other social networks fall into place somewhere below Snapchat ((www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing). See the chart below.
In an article on Sprout Social (http://sproutsocial.com/insights/when-not-to-use-snapchat/) published in 2015, Snapchat is comprised of 30% male and 70% female. Furthermore, 71% of Snapchat users are under 25 years old. As a social media marketer, this is a really important piece of information. If I have a product or a service that I want to sell to girls between the ages of 18 and 25, I know where to go with my advertisements. As someone who uses social media to advertise for businesses, this is important to me.
Why should I care as a parent?
I care as a dad, because my teen daughters are now the targets of anyone who wants to sell them something or entice them, potentially for nefarious purposes. Among the top corporate posters on Snapchat are Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and a host of other relatively benign media outlets.
Prior to my life as a social media marketer, I was in law enforcement for 14 years, the better part of that time spent as a detective and a special agent investigating computer crimes, including sexual exploitation of minors and complex white collar crimes. Both categories concern me as a parent for a couple of reasons. First, the most common targets for criminals are children and the elderly. And second, now sophisticated criminals can use social media marketing techniques proven by the professionals to work very well for their own misdeeds.
According to Safe Smart and Social (www.safesmartsocial.com), 30% of teens still rank Snapchat as the most important social network, and 30% of Snapchat users claim to use the app because their parents don’t use it. Well, that’s telling.
Safe Smart and Social’s Josh Ochs provides the following tips for parents:
This parent highly recommends using services like www.safesmartsocial.com and www.commonsensemedia.org to become very familiar with apps our kids are using and start paying attention to how professional marketers are exploiting our kids’ passions.
Gurian Institute Certified Trainer
Father, Retired-Cop, Social Media Marketer