The popularity of social media platforms among people of all age groups is quite apparent today. The role of social media in connectivity and content sharing has become even more vital since Covid. Instagram recorded over a billion users every month in the first quarter of 2021, and YouTube registered over 2 billion monthly active users.
True to its name, Social Media has become a media source that is by society and for society. The world does not work like it used to – with the voices of the few being heard by the ears of the many. Social media has created a collaborative environment where every participating member has the power (with it, of course, comes responsibility) to be heard.
While entertainment is the number one reason for returning viewership on most platforms, it is not the only reason. Social media platforms have become an essential avenue for awareness and knowledge. A significant component of this is news media – more people consume the news from social media than they do from TV or print media. A 2020 research article by Pew research stated – About half of U.S. adults (53%) say they get news from social media “often” or “sometimes.”
All these statistics make one loud point – social media is the single largest audience source available today. Whether it is for creating awareness, sharing the news, educating, or entertaining, you will not be able to reach a broader audience on any other avenue as you will on social media.
Becoming A Source For Organic Awareness For Brands
With social media becoming the best audience source (and the largest), brands have realized that digital marketing over social media platforms is the number one strategy for creating brand awareness and gaining customers. A study by Retail TouchPoints states – A total of 76% of surveyed consumers purchased a product they saw in a brand’s social media post.
Creating social awareness does not have to be a paid activity, and this gives all brands an equal opportunity to compete even in a saturated market. The sheer volume of the audience makes it easy for brands to create organic followership. With the right strategies and targeting the right platforms, brands can and are leveraging social media for growth.
Noteworthy Digital Media Influencers on Social Media
Social media has become the primary source for news and information ever since Covid. Here are some influencers from the news and media domain who are leveraging social media platforms to drive their message.
1. Faye D’Souza
Faye D’souza was a prominent news anchor for Mirror Now until 2019. She is now an independent Instagram journalist who uses social media to broadcast the news to her viewers. She has an Instagram account with over a million followers and a YouTube channel with over 200k subscribers.
2. The Logical Indian
The Logical Indian is an independent digital media platform founded by Abhishek Mazumdar and Anurag Mazumdar in 2014. They have over a million followers on Instagram and close to 100k subscribers on YouTube. They use social media to drive viewership to their online media platform.
3. The Quint
Raghav Bahl and Ritu Kapur quit Network18 to launch the general news and opinion website The Quint. The Quint has close to a million Instagram followers, 600k+ Twitter followers and over 3 million YouTube subscribers. They use YouTube (along with their website) as a prime source to deliver media content to their viewers.
Which Social Platforms Should You Invest Time On?
We at Market Xcel, conducted a survey across 13 urban cities from all four zones and spoke to 620 users. Here are the insights of this survey:
1. Viewership and engagement
- Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram dominate the social media space.
- Users spend 4 hours on average surfing social media platforms. This engagement is more during morning hours and late nights.
2. Content engagement patterns
- Facebook is mainly used for watching videos, live sessions, pictures, and posts. Therefore, the middle-aged demographic is more active on Facebook.
- Instagram is mainly used for Insta reels, live streaming, and videos. The younger generation is more active on Instagram.
- Twitter is famous for text links, tweet handling, and enabling grouping of friends.
- Youtube is mainly used for video content. The most active demographic on YouTube is the younger generation, both for creating and consuming videos on Youtube.
There is no one answer to which platform is right for you. If the time and budget permit, brands will create maximum awareness by being active on social media. If that is overwhelming, studying platform demographics (like the ones stated above) will help paint a better picture of where your ideal audience is most active.
Social media is not a ‘young person’s game.’ When you club all major social platforms – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc., the active demographic by age will range from 18 – 65 and over. In addition, the demographic by country and race will span globally. The concentration of specific demographics may be more or less on certain platforms, but with some research, brands can find which platform hosts their most ideal audience.
Awareness is not limited to brands and companies. Social media is being actively used to create global (and local) awareness for political, economic, and social issues. Social media has become the forefront for Covid aid. Instagram stories and Facebook forums were (and still are) prime sources for sharing information and asking for help during the pandemic.
The power of social media lies in its use. Social media connects the globe; as we said earlier, it is a media source that is by society and for society. With this freedom to easily share content comes the responsibility to share the right content.