In this golden era of internet usage, screens hold all the power. Adults in America now spend over 11 hours a day interacting with media, whether that’s watching a show, reading an article, or scrolling through a newsfeed. About 45 minutes of that time is spent on social networking sites and apps. That may not seem like a huge amount of time compared to the total, but think about how many posts, tweets, and articles you can scroll through in just a few minutes. We can get through quite a few while we’re waiting in line at the coffee shop!
With billions of users between them, these platforms have evolved to play a key role in creating and maintaining connections and relationships. Businesses sensed opportunity in this unique and ever-changing sphere and are still trying to figure out how they can best take advantage of it. Really, could a company ask for a better way to establish trust, reinforce its brand image, and connect with consumers?
But not all platforms are created equal; different apps and sites offer a wide range of opportunities for engagement and content production. It all depends on what your company is hoping to gain from its social media use. In spite of that, you probably still want to know which social network is “the best.” At Snap, we’re kicking off 2019 with a gutsy prediction by calling the social media platform of the year!
How many social media sites can you name? You’ll probably be able to get the wildly popular ones that have been around for years, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but what about newer or lesser-known platforms? You’ve got LinkedIn for professional networking, Snapchat for sending temporary photos and text messages, Reddit for an old school message board environment, and dozens more. And we’d be remiss not to consider YouTube, which allows influencers, vloggers, and general content makers to connect with fans all over the world.
With so many different communities to choose from, how could you even begin to pick a frontrunner? We’ve decided to focus on the platform that’s likely to provide the biggest ROI for businesses. That won’t necessarily hold true for all brands–for example, a small seller of knitted hats might find a lot of success on Pinterest, while a construction company would likely find none. But we’ve worked with quite a few clients since our founding in 2010, and we’ll happily make our case for an app that would benefit the majority of companies that utilize it correctly.
Social Media Statistics
Stats don’t lie, so we took a look at the number of active users on some of the most popular social platforms. As of October 2018, Facebook owns the top spot with 2.23 billion monthly active users. YouTube came in second with 1.9 billion. Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp took up the next few spots, but we’re not considering direct messaging in our search for the social media app of 2019. Instagram is No. 6 with 1 billion users. From there, the numbers drop drastically, so we’re taking Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat out of the running.
It seems obvious, but it needs to be said: different social media platforms attract different demographics. You probably won’t find your grandma on Twitter, but she’ll probably find you on Facebook! Actually, you’ll probably find the widest range of demographics on Facebook out of any platform. That’s understandable, since the technology has so many different uses, from photo sharing and microblogging to creating event calendars and business pages.
Facebook might have the widest range, but other social networking sites boast some key demographics. YouTube, for instance, is used by a whopping 94 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds in America. Instagram is used by 71 percent. To make this data even more complicated, we have to take into account that people don’t typically confine their activity to just one website or app. The average American actually uses about three major social networking platforms!
We paid a lot of attention to this category, because constant growth and smart updates are essential to maintaining and increasing a user base–and more users means more followers for businesses that can properly navigate those channels. Facebook is the most widely used networking site, with about 68 percent of adults in the country taking advantage of its technology to connect with family and friends. In contrast, Instagram was the only major social platform to show significant user growth, increasing the number of adult U.S. users from 28 percent in 2016 to 35 percent.
We’ve walked through the data. Considered the demographics. Contemplated what an exciting year we’re looking forward to in the digital marketing scene. And we’ve come to a conclusion. (Can we get a drumroll, please?) In terms of active accounts, future potential, and quality of user interface, Instagram checks all the boxes for us–and we’re predicting that it’ll be the biggest social platform in 2019!
With a number of relatively new features like Shopping Tags and Instagram Live, the social platform only seems to be getting more relevant to businesses. You might choose to partner with an influencer who can tag your company and products in a post, stream live footage of your next event, utilize hashtags to gain more followers–really, the possibilities are endless! In light of the app’s growing user base, exciting new features, and frequent updates, we’re confident in calling 2019 the Year of Instagram.
Win at Social with Snap
Navigating social media can be tricky for businesses, particularly when they begin to explore new platforms. At Snap, we’ll be your eyes and ears in the thick of the social media scene, helping you to identify and target your key demographics while growing your following. Contact us today to learn more about our social media marketing services and how we can create and execute a winning media strategy for your company.