social media usage

You already know that social media and experiential marketing complement each other. If you deliver an amazing experience to someone, they’re naturally going to want to share it with their friends.

The global social media usage statistics show how much we rely on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the others on a daily basis. According to research in the GlobalWebIndex Flagship Report 2018:

  • 98% of digital consumers are social media users
  • An average of 2 hours, 22 minutes per day is spent on social networks and messaging
  • 22% of digital consumers have liked or followed a brand on a social network in the past month
  • More than 40% of users research new brands or products on social media
  • People online have an average of 8.5 social media accounts and tend to use each one for different purposes
  • 28% of users of the four major social platforms engage with live streams each month
  • 85% of internet users say they have a Facebook account, making it the dominant channel for membership
  • YouTube, however, draws more weekly visitor traffic than any other social media channel

Gen Z have grown up with social media as an extension of everything they do. Teachers have Facebook groups for their classes, and this generation turns to YouTube to learn new skills and stay in-touch with popular culture. Social media is one way this generation multi-tasks throughout their days, using it at the same time they do homework or other tasks. They spend more time on social media during a day (over 3 hours) than the older generations.

Of 16-24 year-olds, GlobalWebIndex found that:

  • 46% use social media to fill their spare time
  • 46% search for funny or entertainment content on social channels
  • 42% use social to stay connected to friends
  • 41% use social for news and current events
  • 37% share photos and videos with others

In addition, Mintel found that 52% of Gen Z, also known as iGen, have given out a social media handle in lieu of a phone number.

This social media usage slightly differs from the older generations, who primarily head to social networks to stay in touch with friends and family, as well as to stay up-to-date with news and current events.

Brands do benefit from all of this social media dependence. Of all global social users, 36% follow brands they like and 25% follow brands they’re considering a purchase. While actors and musicians get more love from those 16-24, 42% of this age group also follow brands they like.

EventTrack research shows 98% of consumers create digital or social content at branded experiences, and 100% of those people share that content. That’s why we often design brand experiences for Instagram moments. We deliberately plan events to encourage someone to snap and share.

We’re finding that with the younger Gen Z consumers, they want to control their user-generated content and share more authentic brand stories. This provides brands with the engagement they desire but lets the audience create the brand identity in an influential way. As peer content resonates greater than celebrity endorsements, it’s in the more organic posts about your brand or product where you’ll win.

While experiential marketing works for all generations, many brands are vying for the attention of Gen Z.

Gen Z understands personal branding and takes their voice seriously. They’ll decide if your brand experience is worthy of their social media channels, and they’ll decide how they want to position your brand in their posts. First, they have to believe in the brand, itself, and align with the brand values. They support brands who take the same social stands as they do.

Your social media integration must go beyond having a selfie frame or a gimmicky contest as part of your event. Asking for a social post in an unauthentic way will earn you less reach and harm your brand. Instead, win social media usage through relationship-building with your audience and well-designed experiences that are so inventive they’ll want – or need – to share. Without a dose of real, exclusive FOMO worked into the brand experience, your audience may not find the value in posting about you to their friends.

They will only recommend and share content they genuinely want to associate with their unique voice. Their own reputation is at stake, with every single post they share.

As you plan brand experiences for the up-and-coming consumers, know that Gen Z is value-oriented, expects transparency and, yes, very clearly has high social media usage you can leverage.

For help in designing a social media-worthy brand experience, DM us.