On March 1, the Pew Research Center, a Washington-based think tank, released the results of a new survey regarding American social media usage. The results are based on telephone interviews with more than 2,000 adults living in all 50 states and has implications for digital marketing agencies.

Some of the findings are mundane. The fact that YouTube and Facebook remain the nation’s most popular social media sites, for instance, is unsurprising. About 73 per cent of adults use YouTube and 68 per cent use Facebook.  Instagram is used by 35 per cent of adults, while Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Twitter all attract between 25 and 27 per cent. Snapchat and Instagram are much more popular among younger users, as is YouTube; 94 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds use the video-sharing site.

Interestingly, 59 per cent of respondents said they wouldn’t have any trouble giving up their social media habits, including 29 per cent who said doing so wouldn’t be hard at all. This finding contradicts the popular narrative that society has become “addicted” to social media.

A separate survey conducted by Hill Holliday in December 2017 found that many 18- to 24-year-olds are “seeking relief from social media.” In fact, a full 34 per cent said they’d deleted their social accounts at some point, citing negativity, self-esteem issues, increased commercialization, and lack of interest in the content as reasons.

It’s clear that the commercialization of social media networks will eventually reach a point of diminishing returns. Many digital marketing agencies already understand this, as does Facebook, who ushered in 2018 with a highly-publicized shift in their approach to the News Feed. Social media advertising can still be extremely impactful, but it must be carefully targeted, highly relevant, fun, clever, and, perhaps most importantly, positive. Ads that contribute to a healthy, uplifting social media experience will continue to deliver results.

As a Premier Google Partner All-Star Agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media understands that effective digital marketing requires nuanced understanding of online trends and the flexibility to react to changes in user behaviour. Successful digital marketing agencies can adapt and react to those changes.