23 May 2013

Just as wealth management and superannuation marketers have begun adapting to social media platforms such as Facebook, signs are emerging that the consumer market may already be moving on.

The Socialmedia Today forum in the US has just published an info-graphic that it claims shows Facebook use is declining sharply among young people, many of whom are beginning to adopt alternative platforms.

Platforms such as Tumblr is used by 61% of North American teenagers, Twitter is used by 22%, Instagram by 21% and Snapchat by 13%. Facebook is still, however, used by 55%.

Driving the switch is the age-old phenomenon among young people to do things differently to their parents and so as their parents have adopted Facebook, they are less interested in it. Incidentally, this is a trend that Apple is also battling.

This change is reinforced by teenagers increasingly going mobile and turning to more mobile-friendly apps like Kik Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat.

As a result of this demographic adjustment, the average age of Facebook users in North America has risen from 38 to 41 years.

Reflecting this, the number of mothers getting onto Facebook is rising sharply, noted the Socialmedia Today analysis. This trend is further amplified by the rapid emergence of ‘mummy bloggers’ who came to prominence in the US several years ago and are increasingly making their mark in Australia’s niche media landscape.

“In 2012, 65% of Facebook users were age 35 years or older. In 2010, 61% were 35 years or older,” wrote Social media Today.

The warning to wealth management marketers is, however, what the figures do not show and that is that social media usage is not falling, it’s just shifting to new platforms as the channel evolves.

By Alex Dunnin | In Technology Section of Financial Standard

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