My name is Khadija, I’m 17 years old and I am doing a three-week internship at Ambition. I’ve been asked to write a blog about what social media platforms firms should be using if they wish to reach out to the people of my generation.
Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Only a few of the social media networks we use daily. So, what’s the best way for you to reach out to us?
Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social network platforms. We spend hours and hours scrolling through our Instagram timelines, flicking through insta stories and looking through the endless explore page. This is a perfect way for firms to show off what they really have to offer. Being able to engage an audience of different ages through hashtags and photos that capture the best of your company.
However, due to Instagram having such a variety of ages across the platform, this way of advertising your firm may not be the most successful. People tend to just dismiss anything that doesn’t relate to them, meaning that you might not gain a big following.
But that doesn’t mean it won’t be a hit with the people who do have an interest in what you have to offer. My generation often don’t know what they want to venture into. Having businesses on social media such as Instagram, allows you to share the values of the company and let the audience see a side to the business that a website might not express.
Now, Snapchat is a whole new domain. It allows you to exchange pictures and videos and post on your story which disappears after 24 hours. It’s not the type of network you would expect a business to be using as it is a much more personal platform for many.
A lot of people my age use Snapchat for friends and family. It is a much more relaxed platform used to look at what your friends or celebrities are getting up to in their lives.
I wouldn’t really go out of my way to add or subscribe to firms who are on Snapchat, especially if it doesn’t relate to me directly; this may be the same for many users of Snapchat. There’s only so much you can post on Snapchat before it gets repetitive.
However, Snapchat has a younger demographic (ages 17-24 roughly) than other social media platforms. So, if the audience you are trying to gain is within that age group then Snapchat is the one you should be using but it may be hard to start up using Snapchat as you would have to be posting regularly in order to keep the audience engaged.
Twitter is something firms could be using to reach out to people of my generation. Many tweets are shared between other social platforms such as Instagram. This means that even if you aren’t on twitter, everyone can see tweets through another person posting them on Snapchat or Instagram.
Twitter has a lot more open communications; it allows for conversations between many people in real time rather than having to wait for an email response.
Personally, I don’t use Twitter, I think it’s quite boring and you can’t do much as a user. But I can keep up to date with what goes on due to it being reposted on Instagram.
For a business, this is a great way to gain publicity and make the audience aware of the company brand. Firms could be successful on twitter if they are looking for a way to gain a specific audience, many 16-19-year olds are on Twitter for the fun stuff rather than reading tweets from companies. However, for older people, company Twitter pages allow them to know more about your firm and can see what you have to offer.
Facebook is one of the largest social media networking sites in the world. Over time Facebook has evolved, from being a platform where you could chat to friends and family to a place where you can promote your business and sell online. Facebook is a place where you would attract an older audience rather than people of my generation, so Facebook is probably not the main social media site you want to be using.
Although Facebook is the largest social networking site, from my perspective it's quite pointless if you’re trying to attract a younger audience. I think we prefer social media platforms that are more visual and have more interaction. Facebook just isn’t the place you would attract a younger audience that you might be looking for. However, it is a good place to promote your business as Facebook ads are seen everywhere.
Many Pinterest users fall between the age of 25-34 years old. Pinterest allows users to visually share pictures with other users who share the same interest. Firms could use this platform to increase exposure of their business. The more shares it has, the more attention It receives. But many people around my age don’t use Pinterest, it’s not something that is popular with us because all you can do is post images and browse what others have posted.
Other than that, there isn’t much communication within the app. However, if your target audience is those between 25-34 years old it is a good way to reach out as they may share a common interest with your company. Another way Pinterest may help your business is that many users of Pinterest are browsing for inspiration, so the more you put yourself out there, the more likely it is for people to stumble across your page, therefore gaining a larger audience.
Overall, the best social media platform to use in order to reach out to the people of my generation is Instagram. This is because many of us tend to be on Instagram every day just catching up. Also, because it is such a wide platform you could attract a wider audience who are a variety of ages and may stumble across a company business page that relates to them. Since Instagram does adjust the feed to the person's interests, your page may be exposed to them. So, its best to make posts interesting and eye-catching for the users.
Khadija completed an internship at Ambition as part of our partnership with the Haverstock Career Network and Career Ready.