Millennials on Facebook a Waste of Time?

Quick! Name the most important social network that should be a part of your overall marketing plan.

Chances are that Facebook was the first network that came to mind. Some of you might have thought of Twitter too. And while there are countless other social media platforms out there and many more are created all the time, it’s become pretty clear that Facebook and Twitter are the two driving forces at the moment. They’re the biggest players and they’re well established.

It doesn’t really matter what kind of business you’re in. You could be a blogger, you could be a brick-and-mortar store, you could be seeking funding through Kickstarter. If you want to connect with your audience, you should definitely be looking at Facebook, right?


In an article published on Business Insider, the 22-year-old who runs Apple’s Twitter account was highlighted. More specifically, they took a look at the social media marketing course Tai Tran is teaching at University of California, Berkeley.

A powerful statistic that Tran points out in his presentation is that Facebook has, by far, the most monthly active users out of all the social networks. Almost 1.5 billion people log into Facebook every month, which is more than Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn combined.

As you would be well advised to go where people already are, it only makes logical sense that you would want to improve your brand presence on Facebook, even if that means spending some budget on boosting your posts every now and then. Organic reach isn’t what it used to be, but the investment is worth it when there are so many potential eyeballs.

Except this may not be the best idea if your target demographic consists primarily of millennials. These elusive young people aren’t like other “typical” users and they’re gravitating to entirely different platforms.


It may be true that Facebook attracts five times as many monthly active users as Twitter, but it is not the preferred social network among millennial users. As Tai Tran discovered, only 38% of users between the ages of 18 and 34 are on Facebook. Compare that to the 49% of millennial users who are on Instagram and the 71% who are on Snapchat.

Does this mean that you’re wasting your resources by trying to reach out to millennials through Mark Zuckerberg’s platform? Not necessarily. There’s still a purpose there, particularly in terms of customer care and branding. Even if you were to divert some of your attention to Instagram or Snapchat instead, having a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook is still in your best interest.

What it also means, though, is that if you have a product or service that is being geared toward the younger demographic of millennials, you cannot ignore the power that Snapchat might have in helping you reach this audience where they already are. The fleeting nature of Snapchat might make for more challenging analytics and metrics. It may also be harder to get them to follow you as a brand on Snapchat, which is more of a “fun” messaging service than it is a traditional social network.

At the end of the day, having an active Snapchat profile at the cost of ignoring Facebook and Twitter altogether is a poor strategy, regardless of the demographic you’re trying to reach. But Snapchat and Instagram could prove to be invaluable tools for connecting with the young people you may have otherwise missed on Facebook.

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