The Social Conundrum
Last year we wrote that the average person was spending 144 minutes every day on social media, which seemed like a lot to us. But that figure has now grown to 153 minutes. Over two and a half hours every day! To put it into context, that is an hour a day more than in 2012. To place it in further context, the average person now spends more than 170 extra hours per year on social media than socialising in person. However, some data suggests that as usage continues to grow, many users are choosing to step away from social media.
Either way, the average person is now spending almost 16% of their waking hours on social media, so we decided to take an in-depth look at how, when and why?
According to a recent report from Statista, people have started to use social media from as young as ten years old, with more than 3 billion people expected to be using social media by 2021. But, despite record numbers of these juvenile users, it is also the younger generation who are starting to give up on being virtually social.
Are people taking a virtual step away?
Data shows that Facebook and Instagram may be hitting their peak, particularly with Gen Z’s. The supposed social media generation feel that they have been wasting too much time on social media, that the platforms bring too much negative energy and make them feel bad about themselves. No surprise then that 64% of Gen-Zers have taken a break from one or more social media networks.
Instagram is listening
Instagram has clearly been keeping its ear to the ground and is keen to keep most of its one billion users (71% of which are 34 years old or younger). The social giant is taking steps to remove the online gratification provided by its ‘like’ feature by removing it altogether! This is aimed at encouraging users to focus more on what they share and why, rather than purely on how many likes they get.
What does this mean for marketers?
As we stated earlier, the number of people using social media is still expected to grow dramatically into the future and beyond. So rushing to reroute your marketing resources elsewhere could be premature. Instead, we asked the question, “What can we learn from these trends?”
The most common reason cited for quitting social media (41%) was “wasting too much time on it.” Whereas just 18% stepped away because social media had “got too commercialised.” Interestingly, 26% said they were “not interested in the content,” suggesting that people dislike being bored more than they dislike being sold to.
To us, the message to take away is;
- If your content is engaging, connects with your audience and makes them think or act, it is worth their time – even if it is commercially-based.
Connect – your strategy is to not waste people’s time.
To some, an advert they don’t want to see is a waste of time. But if that advert delivers its message concisely is not wasting much of anybody’s time. And when a member of your audience engages and acts it is certainly not a waste – in fact, the less time taken to assess the offering and act the better!
Whereas an article or piece of content marketing that fails to connect with your audience is ultimately fruitless, and a much bigger waste of time. There is no test to run on this question. “Is this worth the time of my audience?” Ultimately, you have to be the judge.
Learn more about the social media landscape for 2019 and stats about how people are using/ how often they are using social media here – Broadband Search.
The team at TWI make this decision every day and get it right most of the time (we hope!). For support with your marketing strategy give us a call today on 01473 326907 or click here to contact us.
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