February 24, 2014 debbie.m

Follow the Teens

With all the headlines about Facebook, sometimes other social media networks get pushed out of the conversation. A quick look in our inbox reminded @Sanmita why that shouldn’t be. For anyone trying to reach young Americans (that means you, higher education), YouTube deserves your attention.  That’s because teens are spending more time on YouTube than any other social media platform.

In November 2013, 74% of social media users 14 to 18 years old said they used YouTube frequently, compared to 60% for Facebook, according to new data from The Intelligence Group and Emarketer. Those young users are the very prospective students that universities and colleges are trying to reach with their social media marketing.

For higher education marketers, YouTube’s popularity is great news. The platform lends itself incredibly well to higher education marketing. Video marketing campaigns can really deliver on campus activities and student life. Student-created content is also a great way to spotlight your school on YouTube. Universities and colleges can fill their YouTube channels with targeted video messages.

Then, of course, use your other social media networks to drive traffic to your YouTube. This tweet from Cornell University is a great example:

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You can do the same thing with Instagram, another must-have for higher ed social media. While Instagram is a smaller player than YouTube, Facebook or even Twitter, it is wildly popular with teens. According to the Intelligence Group,  35% of teens saying they use Instagram frequently. Instragram is growing steadily, with 150 million users and counting.

Among slightly older Internet users, Facebook and YouTube are nearly tied, with 68% of users 19 to 24 year olds citing YouTube as their most-frequently visited site, compared to 67% for Facebook.

Of course, Facebook remains the behemoth among social media networks and is invaluable for brands.  Despite YouTube’s popularity with teens, the data found Facebook ranks no. 1 social media network for communicating with brands. Among teens, 55% say they prefer using Facebook to communicate with brands, followed by YouTube (20%); Twitter (12%); Instagram (7%) and Pinterest (3%).

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