Social media is constantly changing. The first few iterations of many of the most-used platforms today are almost unrecognizable. Instagram Stories, for instance, didn’t become part of the Instagram platform until 2016—a full ten years since its inception—but it is now considered one of the defining features of the platform. Contrary to what many believe, however, social media is descriptive, not prescriptive. Changes to apps are introduced in response to how users engage, not to dictate their usage. Wise businesses recognize this fact and can adjust their advertising strategies to suit the changing landscape. When brands can quickly adapt their methods of engagement and update their social media campaigns, it translates to great results.
Agencies also need to be flexible to adapt their clients’ campaigns for maximum return. The biggest mistake that can be made in our world of ever-changing social networking is to not evolve alongside the platforms. What was “tried and true” last year may be outdated now! The best defense against stagnancy is a willingness to learn and the ability to grow.
How to Use Social Media Usage Information for a Digital Marketing AdVantage
A quick look at social media usage in the USA by platform shows that visual social media platforms are currently the highest for usage. Instagram saw a staggering 64 million downloads in 2021, with Facebook close behind at 47 million downloads. Both of these platforms have an enormous, dedicated user base and have the added benefit of being well-established. While some newer platforms are dominating the downloads, they can’t match the advantage both Facebook and Instagram have by virtue of their 15+ years of connecting people.
In June 2022, approximately 25% of Facebook users in the US were between the ages of 25 to 34, while nearly one-third of the traffic on the site was users from ages 35 to 54. Altogether, these users account for a key advertising demographic. There’s an erroneous perception of Facebook as a “platform for seniors”, while the truth is that the most active generation on Facebook is the Millennial group. Millennials are accustomed to e-commerce transactions and the online shopping experience, similar to their younger counterparts in Gen Z. Unlike Gen Z, however, Millennials have the purchasing power and disposable income necessary to convert the curious into customers.
Over on Instagram, the key demographic is a little younger—users between the ages of 13 and 34 make up a whopping 70% of the total user base as of April 2022. Instagram users are socially-minded and ready to engage with businesses more personally than they do on Facebook. Instagram Stories give brands a way to let people see the “behind the scenes” shots that used to be hidden from the public eye. This sense of intimacy helps to create brand loyalty, not to mention the ease with which users are able to share content and information from their favorite brands to their own stories and feeds.
So now you know the stats, but how do you successfully use these two platforms? Let’s take a closer look!
In the last few years, Instagram has introduced several features designed to make it easier for people to interact and engage with brands, including Stories, Shop, Reels, Professional Dashboard, and more. Stories in particular hold incredible opportunities for businesses to advertise and market themselves. Apart from sponsored stories, which are ads that appear within the Stories feature to users whether they follow the particular brand or not, there are also sticker options available within Stories to link to specific products or pages so that users can access your site or store in one tap.
With the introduction of Instagram Reels back in 2020, brands also have a way of advertising organically through creating engaging content. As short-form videos become more and more popular, businesses have a unique opportunity to advertise to users who aren’t even aware they’re being advertised to, calls-to-action and shopping links become a way for users to engage with content, rather than scroll right past an ad.
In October of 2020, Facebook did away with the clunky Pages Manager app and introduced the Facebook Business Suite app, which combines business analytics from both Facebook and Instagram for a seamless way to manage your brand presence and track your engagement across both platforms.
Facebook is also a great first step into the metaverse, which may seem complicated at first but is quickly shifting from being the future of technology to the very real present. Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, is intent on pursuing the metaverse. No doubt we’ll soon be seeing features added to both platforms designed to create seamless interaction within the metaverse—and yes, brands will need to adapt to that as well!
Keep Up and Keep On Top
Social media usage is an ever-changing element, but social media itself is here to stay. The more agencies adapt to social media’s marketing potential, the sooner businesses can see the impact of engagement. In a social media landscape where the only constant is change, brands need to embrace flexibility and be where their users already are.
Wondering how you, as an agency, can help your clients with their social media when you barely have time to handle your own? Don’t worry, that’s where we at MatchCraft come in. Our AdVantage program simplifies the Facebook and Instagram advertising experience by merging the platform into a single view for easy monitoring and reporting. We offer tools that will help you with your digital marketing problems that are easy to use so that you can focus on making your business the best it can be. Schedule an assessment today to learn more!