The Social Media Shuffle Continues for Marketers with New Pew Research

Social networks are still new enough that it's hard for marketers and business owners to know exactly where to spend the time and money of your marketing budget. With the exception of Facebook, no individual platform is guaranteed to be as powerful as it was the year before, as new research from Pew demonstrates this month. [caption id="attachment_3080" align="aligncenter" width="623"]social media marketing apps Social media and telecoms marketing make for a powerful partnership. | Image Credit: Jason Howie[/caption] In terms of channels, former powerhouse Twitter is now struggling to keep pace with Facebook. Compared to Facebook's whopping 62 percent user rate among those surveyed by Pew, Twitter managed barely a third of that number at 23 percent. That still makes for a sizable user base, and one that US marketers cannot ignore for now, but Twitter's slow pace of its growth is almost as much of a concern as its inability to generate significant revenue from advertisers. Facebook and its mobile application has gone from strength to strength in that respect, while Twitter is being left in the rearview mirror. This could also be true if trends continue and other platforms maintain the lead that this new research says they have pulled out over Twitter. Both Pinterest and Instagram have overtaken the older platform according to this survey, with 31 percent (Pinterest) and 28 percent (Instagram) of those asked using those networks. For marketers, following the popularity of platforms is an important indicator of which to prioritize in terms of both time and budget. The Pew study also revealed that although women still lead men is social network usage, men are catching up. The gender gap was as large as 15 percent back in 2015 but has shrunk to just 7 percent in 2015, making it even more important to understand the demographic make-up of a specific social network when  picking which platform to use for your business presence. Again, following the trends is important because not all assumptions hold true for all platforms. Pinterest, for example, is still heavily skewed towards female users, but the trends show men catching on quickly enough that this gender disparity could be reigned in within a few years. Social media marketing is here to stay, but that doesn't guarantee that individual platforms will do the same. Seeing a return on investment from social means staying on top of the trends and constantly adjusting your strategy. This is why so many marketers are passionate about vanity numbers. They're simple, effective, and stand the test of time!

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