How people are using social media

Don't assume your target audiences are using social media in the same way you are. A little research goes a long way.

General social media use


  • 79% of online adults use Facebook
  • Roughly six-in-ten online adults ages 18-29 (59%) use Instagram
  • Half (50%) of online adults with college degrees are on LinkedIn
  • 24% of smart phone users use messaging apps that automatically delete sent messages, such as Snapchat
  • 29% of internet users with college degrees use Twitter

Source: Pew Research Centre (2016)

On researching universities


  • 60% of grade 12 students say university social media accounts are a source of reliable information
  • Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are considered the best social media sites for researching universities
  • Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are used most frequently by teens

Sources: Ruffalo Noel-Levit (2015) & Pew Research Centre (2015)

The general public vs academics


  • The public may listen to universities, but they collect their news and information from different sources than academics
  • The public can more likely be found on social networks, content sharing sites and blogs for their news and information
  • Social networks are becoming an important source for higher ed information, especially for younger audiences
  • External audiences use a variety of social networks -- many of which academics do not use
  • We need to be where people are to inform their opinion about our reputation

Source: Eldman (2016)