Social media trends you need to know about when it comes to future talent attraction


By Matt John

Trends can change in a day when it comes to social channels. To help you keep on top of what’s hot, and what’s not when it comes to social, we’ve taken a look at what’s going on to bring you the latest view when it comes to the youth market. Here are six key highlights.

Facebook is number one… still

No surprises there. However, Instagram and Snap are closing the gap. With so many new social channels taking the limelight, it’s easy to think that there’s less value in traditional social media channels – but Facebook is still the most popular channel:

– 72% of 12-15 year olds have a profile

– 79% of 16-21 year olds have a profile

– 82% of 26-35 year olds have a profile

There are only minimal signs that Facebook is slowing down, and they predict UK users to grow year on year through to 2022. By then, they expect to have a massive 43m UK users logging in at least once a month.

Instagram and Snapchat are seeing similarly impressive figures:

– Monthly app downloads were consistent over 2019

– Growing market shares are rivalling Facebook

– The 12-21 age group are responsible for around 63% of their activity

Giving each channel individual consideration and adapting content to suit is more important than ever. So, when thinking about your content strategy, make sure you consider how your content will be shared across them all.

In denial

Young people don’t realise how much they use Facebook. In surveys, many claim they don’t use Facebook at all, saying they prefer the visual feel of Instagram or disposable nature of Snapchat. However, further probing uncovered they were actually active Facebook users – just not content generators. For example, none were active posters but all used it regularly in some way, such as for messaging, gaming, shopping or streaming.

This shows how well Facebook has embedded itself into everyday life, which brings huge opportunities – as long as you know where and how to reach your audience.

The highest reach and retention

When it comes to people moving onto social pastures new, Snapchat ranks amongst the lowest, with only around 18% considering leaving. This is in stark contrast to Facebook, where 38% of users are considering leaving.

And, with Snapchat having a huge reach in youth demographics, it’s certainly worth considering how it could support long-term multi-message campaigns. Use the channel to create several touchpoints and be confident that they’re being seen by a large section of your youth market in a consistent way.

TikTok starts to find its feet

TikTok is the social media channel everyone’s talking about. With over 800m installs in the past year alone, it’s set to become part of the mainstream social media mix. With over 66% of TikTok users being under 30, and 41% of total users being 16-24, it’s starting to become an essential tool for youth marketing too.

However, as with all new platforms, it takes a while for the doors to fully open. As it becomes more established and expectations from users are more deeply understood, brands will be able to tap into its potential. We’re keeping a close eye on all that emerges from the TikTok camp, for us to advise on whether the platform is right for your message now – or in the future. And of course, the best way to engage your audience on there.

Will our channels mature with us?

There is a definite trend for new channels to be adopted more by younger demographics. However, audience numbers slump past the age of 24, whilst more traditional channels like Facebook and Twitter see their audiences peak above this age.

The question is, do people mature into a channel or will the now younger demographic continue to use their current channels as they mature? Only time will tell.

Regularly check in on your data and analytics to understand the profile of your audience on each channel, and ensure it’s playing the correct role in reaching your target audience – or their influencers. It may well shift over time.

Mobile vs. desktop

Trends towards mobile use has been clear for years, and even more so when it comes to the youth market. We recently conducted tests using social media targeting and audience builders to see how young people use social media. Just 4% preferred to use desktop!

This is coupled with the fact that there are more mobile-only channels than ever before (Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok) and a good portion of activity and development is aimed at mobile (Twitter). So, when thinking of creative formats, don’t forget to embrace the mobile first approach.

Looking for support with your social media strategy? We can help.

Along with content strategy and creation, we offer a whole host of other social media services. Our dedicated Social and Brand & Content specialists love nothing more than a social riddle to solve for clients from a wide range of sectors. If you’d like an informal chat on how we can help, or more information on our upcoming social media masterclasses, please get in touch.