Intern Blog: Social Media from the Eyes of a 22-year-old

The more I learn about digital advertising and engagement marketing, the more I hear about the use of social media as a major pathway to reach consumers. There’s talk about which platforms are best for which types of messages, Snapchat’s newfound spot at the top of the social media food chain, new forms of content distribution on newsfeeds, and what this all means for marketers.

I got to thinking about the fact that people like me– young, social media users– are the demographic that marketers are so concerned about when it comes to their research about these platforms. Ironically, most of us Millennials don’t even think twice when it comes to social media usage. We’ve grown up with it since high school. We are so used to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat trends and how to appropriately use each of them that it has become second nature to us. I decided to try to flesh out the way that I feel about each platform and how I post on it and what I look to get out of it, as to better understand what marketers could do here that would interest me:

Facebook: To me, Facebook is still the mothership. Although I may post on other platforms, what I’m doing usually goes onto Facebook as well. For instance, I might pick the most perfect photo from a trip to post on Instagram, but I still post that, along with all of the other photos I took, to Facebook. Facebook is all encompassing—I think of it as a scrapbook for my life. Every photo I take or is taken of me shows up here. Messages that loved ones send me for my birthday show up here. Articles/pictures that I care about are things I share to my wall. My profile picture is more important than an Instagram or photo put into an album—it represents me in a clear way, where as my Instagram and Twitter icons may be silly or artistic pictures. Facebook is the go-to.

-So for Facebook, I’m focused a lot on meaningful things. Since this is all about creating a place (my page) that has to do with me, I’m not interested in seeing ads for discounts or a sale or for shoes. I’m interested in seeing stories, like the new Extra Gum commercial, or HONY posts, or not-for-profits and what they care about.

 

Instagram: Instagram is a place to really show off. Where as on Facebook, one might upload all of their photos, Instagram highlights only the best of the best, and it’s all edited and captioned to witty perfection. Instagram is a place where you do not know anything about the user aside from what they look like, so it’s a little bit more superficial than Facebook.

-On Instagram, I WANT the unnecessary, superficial, treat-yourself ads. I’m already in a mindset about aesthetics after stalking people and how attractively they portray their lives to be: I’m more likely here to be inclined to take a second look at a beauty, fitness or fashion brand.

 

Twitter: Here’s where thoughts really shine. With only so many words and so much time on an ever-changing newsfeed to make a point, Twitter is a platform that reflects intelligence (aside from a funny retweet here and there.) I can only speak on behalf of myself, but while stalking (which we all do, just admit it) I find that I get a sense of someone’s personality best on Twitter. Although Facebook is also a meaningful platform, it is highly centered around photos, and Twitter isn’t. Seeing a series of short thoughts from someone, mixed with what they find important shown in their re-tweets, or what they like shown in their favorites, I find Twitter to be a platform that shows one’s truest self.

-Here’s where I want to see things that encourage me to have an opinion. A survey for what consumers like better. An article about the presidential election. Posts that care about someone’s personality and thought process, not just the way that they look.

 

Snapchat: I’m surprised that Snapchat is thought to be potentially the most successful social media platform at this time, not because I don’t think it’s extremely entertaining and fun, but because it’s kind of a joke to me! Snapchat is where I make double chins and send them to my friends, or where I can take a piece of content (photo or video) and Mystory it even though it would never be meaningful enough to put it on Facebook or Instagram. It’s a place where nothing matters for long, because it’s so soon gone—something that’s not common online or on social media.

-Here’s where I don’t really want to be affected by marketers. When I look at Buzzfeed or Comedy Central mystories I look for cool content and article’s to read that might be promoting a TV show or product, but not outright advertising for it. With Snapchat, I’m just looking to be entertained.

 

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