by Brittany McSorley
Let’s be honest: Social media can be an absolute zoo. An impenetrable jungle. A ball pit of questionable hygiene in the Chuck E. Cheese that is the modern political landscape. But most of us—nearly all of us—have come to rely on social media, whether personally or professionally, and business owners certainly require social media fluency for marketing purposes.
It isn’t hard to decipher which demographic is in the most codependent relationship with the online world. Millennials dive into that ball pit like nine hundred times a day. We’re checking up on the Internet with the frequency of a suspicious girlfriend who’s beginning to think Nick doesn’t even have a midnight calculus tutoring gig, so we’ve got the 411 on which platforms matter and why.
When it comes to number of monthly users, the stats confirm that Facebook still reigns supreme. It leads the pack with more than two billion monthly users, with the rest of the lineup looking like this: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. (In the interest of full disclosure, there were some other platforms on that list, but their names were so unfamiliar to me they looked like Scrabble misfires. Youth is fleeting.)
The numbers don’t lie, but let’s move on now to what truly matters: my personal ranking. This list is of course hugely biased, but for what it’s worth, I’ve never found a single one of my subjective opinions to be even remotely flawed. I can’t explain it. I just know things. I know them.
Facebook: Though people younger than me have rudely told me things like, “Nobody uses Facebook anymore,” and “Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ is no longer relevant,” and “Stop crying because that bouncer didn’t card you,” I am a firm believer in the supremacy of this social media platform. My fellow millennials and I are still using Facebook to determine the legitimacy of products and services, when we aren’t checking up on high school classmates who wronged us in ways that transcend the healing power of time.
Instagram: For some members of my generation, Instagram and Facebook are tied for first place. I use them about equally, but Instagram gets the silver because my time spent on this platform is much more passive. Facebook is for heavy lifting, and it’s definitely where I engage more with marketing content. Instagram is where I go to scroll idly and not double tap my high school enemy’s latest post, because my resolve will never crumble. I will hitchhike through the smoking wreckage of humanity before I like that photo of her dog.
Reddit: Third place goes to Reddit, a platform that has never convinced me to buy anything but that I love nonetheless. Some of us are fascinated by unsolved crimes, okay? Some of us need a safe space where we can read depositions given by dudes whose alibis don’t quite check out and search for inconsistencies instead of spending time with our loved ones. I’m on to you, Scott. Long live Reddit.
Pinterest: I don’t have my own Pinterest account, but I do sometimes use this platform for work, and as a result have planned multiple weddings for myself based on a variety of venues, seasonal color schemes, and less importantly, grooms. The Pinterest hype is not exaggerated. You can decorate an apartment, revamp your culinary routine, or execute just about any lifestyle overhaul based on what you find there. Pinterest shows us not who we are but who we could be, so you should probably be using this aspirational platform for marketing purposes.
Twitter: Its growth has stagnated pretty harshly in recent years, but those who do still use Twitter are fiercely loyal to it, like the nine people who actually like the Star Wars prequels. For me, Twitter’s appeal lies entirely in its inventory of witty quips penned by female comedians, writers and the like. I’m here to laugh with the quiet dignity of a seasoned New Yorker reader. “We all get the joke here,” Twitter insists, and I nod, sipping brandy.
Tumblr: While virtually useless in terms of marketing, Tumblr comes in very handy if you like to unwind after a long day with an hour or three of scrolling through Harry Potter fan art. Some people like that, is all I’m saying.
Snapchat: Pure child’s play. Enough. Don’t fight me on this.