Younger consumers are turning to Instagram more than ever before—but Snapchat hasn’t yet lost the competition for users.
A recent survey by Piper Jaffray, titled “Taking Stock with Teens,” reports that 85 percent of teenagers use Instagram at least once per month—edging out Snapchat (with 84 percent) for the first time.
Snapchat has waned in popularity among all age groups recently, particularly after a redesign caused backlash among its users. In fact, shortly after Snapchat changed its design in February, roughly 1.2 million people signed an online petition pleading with Snapchat developers to undo the update. Snapchat decided to roll back some of the changes in May, and even Snap CEO Evan Spiegel acknowledged that the redesign affected Snapchat’s user count.
Instagram is also the leading social media platform for brand engagement and purchases among younger demographics, with nearly 70 percent of teens saying they prefer that brand managers contact them on Instagram.
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For brand managers, having a mobile-friendly digital marketing strategy—especially one that is highly visual—is paramount to finding and creating brand loyalists among younger consumers.
Opportunities for social media success are rising, as well. The survey finds that 45 percent of teenagers consider a brand more important than fashion when making a purchase—which is up from 33 percent in 2013 and 38 percent in 2017.
Though they might be mostly teenagers now, Gen Zers, aged 13 to 21, will have the lion’s share of global buying power in approximately 10 years. And millennials have latched onto the power of Instagram as one of the most effective marketing tools for the younger generation.
“I never thought that Instagram would be this big. Companies are now spending billions of dollars on influencer marketing and advertising on Instagram. I never expected that influencers like myself would be traveling the world for free and getting paid to create content and promote products. A ton of people are making full-time careers out of this,” says Zach Benson, founder of Assistagram, a company that provides growth, content, and branding strategies on Instagram for established and up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
The survey reports Nike, Adidas, American Eagle, Forever 21, Converse and Vans to be teens’ top shoe and fashion brands, which collectively have more than 163.1 million Instagram followers.
Instagram’s success is a saving grace for Facebook, which has seen steadily declining numbers among younger users.
Thirty-six percent of teenagers say they use Facebook at least once a month, and only 5 percent list it as their favorite platform—the lowest percentages Piper Jaffray has reported since spring 2016.
Though Instagram is currently the most-used platform, teens aren’t abandoning Snapchat.
… Interestingly, the same report found Snapchat had a significant advantage with teens in likability: 46 percent of teens surveyed rated Snapchat as their favorite platform, compared with 32 percent for Instagram.
Snapchat shouldn’t be discounted for PR and marketing messages targeted to younger audiences, however. Along with the app remaining teens’ favorite platform, Piper Jaffray’s report reveals that Snapchat beats out email for the No. 2 platform for brand engagement.
How might this data affect your social media campaigns, PR Daily readers?