- More than half (57%) of social media users in the U.S. and U.K. said the platforms helped them feel less lonely in the past two months, a sentiment that is stronger among Generation Z (65%) and millennials (61%) than among baby boomers (43%), per survey results that GlobalWebIndex and We Are Social shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Instagram makes 67% of Gen Zers feel most connected, followed by YouTube at 63% of the younger demographic group. Facebook is the most popular among older generations, helping 67% of millennials, 65% of Generation X and 62% of boomers feel most connected.
- Almost half (42%) of social media users said they feel less pressure to show an unrealistic image of their lives during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns. That percentage contrasts with 23% of social media users who say they still feel pressure to show a more polished version of themselves, according to the survey of about 2,400 internet users.
GlobalWebIndex and We Are Social's survey provides several insights about social media usage that can help mobile marketers. During pandemic lockdowns, social media usage surged as people relied on their smartphones to stay connected with the outside world. The survey confirms other research showing the popularity of Instagram, YouTube and TikTok among Gen Zers, while Facebook is more popular among older groups. Those differences suggest that marketers need a different approach to reach demographic groups among social media platforms.
The survey results also point to differences in how people use social media to express themselves. Men are more likely than women to say they have been more open on their public social channels about struggles they're facing. Almost half (46%) of male social media users said they're more candid, compared with only 31% of women, the survey found. Those findings indicate that social listening efforts can provide more insights into the lives of consumers, especially men who reveal more about their hardships. That information can be useful to marketers in positioning their campaigns and developing products and services to address changing consumer needs.
The survey has insights about content that's most popular among social media users during the pandemic, information that marketers can use in developing their ad creative. The top content to share on social media was personal news (40%), funny videos (36%) and memes (29%). Funny content was most popular among millennials, with 44% of the group saying they had shared funny videos, while 23% of boomers said they had shared more funny videos on social media or private messaging platforms. The finding may indicate that humorous ad creative has a better chance of being shared on social media, though brands also need to be mindful of striking a respectful tone in their messaging.
Inspiring content also is popular among social media users, with 74% of saying friends and family are among their top three sources of inspiring content. More than half (52%) said their local community and 35% said charities or nonprofits were inspiring. Only 23% of people found inspiration from influencers and content creators, 21% from brands and 20% from celebrities. The finding suggests that efforts by brands to be more inspiring aren't connecting with social media users.