There’s a huge benefit in being one of the first brands to adopt a social network before it becomes big, but it can be tricky to know which new apps are here to stay, and which are simply the latest fad. Here’s our guide to the social platforms every youth brand should have a presence on, and why.
Instagram got a new lease of life last year when it launched its Stories functionality, now used by 250 million people worldwide. While Snapchat pioneered the Stories concept, Instagram has become the preferred choice for brands and influencers due to several benefits. Instagram has a wider reach, and it’s easier for new customers to find your profile, as it will pop up when they search for the brand name. Promotional benefits include hashtags and the new link sharing option for business accounts.
Instagram might be taking the lead on Stories, but Snapchat is still a powerful method of reaching Gen Z. The popularity of Snapchat reflects the dark social trend, where users are increasingly sharing content privately rather than publicly. This creates a challenge for brands, who can’t see conversations about their product, but the benefit is that a more personal relationship can be formed with users. If a young person adds a brand on Snapchat, this allows the brand to exist in the same space where they communicate with their closest friends.
While YouTube faces challenges from Facebook, Netflix and Spotify, it is still the first port of call for most teens looking for entertainment on tap. They love YouTube for its limitless supply of free content. The video platform is the home of the biggest social media influencers, from Zoella to PewDiePie, which means it should be part of any youth brand’s influencer marketing strategy. Brands such as McDonalds have demonstrated how difficult it can be to capture the YouTube audience, but there are great opportunities to sponsor quality content from publishers such as Buzzfeed.
The cliché is that teens don’t use Facebook, but it’s not strictly true - they simply use it in a different way to their parents. The Messenger app is a popular method of communication with both friends and family members, as an alternative to WhatsApp or iMessage, with the advantage that you can chat to someone without giving them your phone number. Teens also use Facebook to follow their favourite brands, which is great news for marketers. Facebook’s advertising tools enable you to target a specific age group, in addition to filtering by location, interests and much more.