What Declining Facebook Use Amongst US Teens Means For Your Business

Facebook’s recent privacy troubles haven’t earned it many “likes” from users. And although the data leak scandal is not exactly over, a recent study published by the Pew Institute discovered other sources of possible concern for Mr. Zuckerberg.

Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018

The Pew Institute conducted a study measuring smartphone penetration and social media usage among US teens (between ages 13-17).

The most important finding of the study is the declining usage of Facebook. Only 51% of US teens are active Facebook users. This is a 20% decline from 2015, when Facebook dominated the social media landscape with 71% of US teens active on the platform.

Does this mean that teens are ditching their technology and engage in healthy outdoors activities instead? Not exactly.

The study found that 95% of teens possess a smartphone or have access to one, and 45% are online almost constantly. Both of these figures are up from their 2105 counterparts, when “only” 75% of teens had a smartphone and 24% were online all the time.

Instead of Facebook, teens are gravitating toward YouTube (85%), Instagram (72%), and Snapchat (69%).

Interestingly, Facebook still dominates social media usage among teens from lower income families. 70% of teens living in a household with less than an annual income of $30,000 still prefer Facebook to all the other platforms.

On the other hand, only 36% of teens coming from a household with a combined income of $75,000 or more report using Facebook.

What Does This Mean for Your Business?

If your target market doesn’t include US teens, then you’re in the clear (for now). Since Facebook is still the most widely used social media platform in the world, your small business should definitely use it to get the word out and to keep in touch with customers.

And what about those of us who do market to US teens? There’s no need to panic: as the second half of the survey shows, teens haven’t sworn off social media, they’re just converging on a different platform.

First and foremost, check out the analytics of your recent Facebook ad campaigns. How many people did they reach? How much business have they generated?

Although Facebook usage is declining, 51% of teens are still active on the platform, which means you can’t just abandon it altogether.

Review your customer interactions. If your target audience still communicates with you on Facebook, don’t close up your business’ account just yet.

However, it won’t hurt to explore other options. Check out the advertising opportunities on YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. Create an account on these platforms and get in touch with your target market.

Ultimately, since social media is highly interactive, you can simply ask your customers what kind of communication method they’d prefer with your business. If Facebook ads don’t work for you any more, but many customers still want you to be present on the platform, you can diversify your social media presence.

Start running ad campaigns on Instagram or Snapchat while maintaining a line of communication on Facebook with your current customers. This way, transitioning from one platform to another will be the least painful for both your business and your clients.

Maintaining a presence on more than one social media platform is not as time-consuming as you may think. There are tools that can help you save time and trouble.

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