Millennials Still Love Facebook

Facebook headerInstagram, Snapchat and Tumblr are among the social media tools that have seen strong growth among millennials. This growth has caused some to falsely assume that Facebook is simultaneously on the outs with this young crowd.

In fact, recent data on millennial social media preferences tells quite a different story!

Drivers of Misconception

A primary reason people believe Facebook is struggling with millennials is that data shows a virtual flatline of growth in the last few years. In contrast, many of the other tools popular with young people have seen double-digit percentage increases in usage rates over the last few years. Additionally, Facebook is “old” by social standards, contributing to the perception that people have become tired of it.

The True Story of Facebook

The data and the anecdotal evidence about Facebook paint quite a different picture. Since launching our Digital Marketing Certificate last fall, I’ve had several guest speakers from Des Moines marketing agencies come into class and discuss social media. The story they tell is that Facebook is far and away the best social channel for their typical clients to connect with not just a young audience, but virtually any digital marketplace.

More concretely, research and clear data support the reality of sustained strength of Facebook usage among millennials. The Mobile Messaging and Social Media 2015 recap by Pew Research Center indicated that 72 percent of all Internet users were on Facebook. Pinterest boasted the second-highest usage rate at 31 percent. More to the point, 82 percent of online users from 18 to 29 reported using Facebook.

More recently, a comScore report showed amazing strength of Facebook reach and engagement relative to social peers. Facebook’s reach far outpaced Instagram and Snapchat with the 18 to 34 crowd, and engagement was tremendous at over 1,000 minutes spent on the site per month on average.

comScore Facebook engagement

Social Marketing to Millennials

The moral of this story is that companies and agencies that have given up on Facebook as part of their digital marketing and social strategies are contradicting the message from a multitude of data. Newer, flashier social tools may seem like the cool and trendy route, but Facebook is the dominant and proven path to reach and engage millennials.

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Neil Kokemuller

Neil Kokemuller has been a Professor of Marketing at Des Moines Area Community College since 2004. Prior to teaching, he worked as a marketing specialist and retail manager. He holds an MBA from Iowa State University

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