Trends indicate a growing interest among the youth in social media platforms that rely heavily on visual content.
In the last decade, social media has vastly changed collegiate marketing. In this day and age, traditional forms of print advertising—college newspapers, magazines, and campus ads—no longer suffice. They can be useful as part of a multi-tiered college marketing approach, however, reaching college students through print alone will not cut it. By pairing social media marketing with campus marketing, your company will gain greater brand awareness among the youth demographic.
Why is social media marketing such a vital component of youth marketing? First, it engages students in mediums they love to use. Secondly, the youth demographic have huge influence over their friends; if an ad or brand resonates with them, they will share it with others. This extends your reach; instead of reaching one person, you have the chance to reach hundreds to thousands.
With social media spheres constantly evolving and changing, it can be hard to determine which social media platforms to use when marketing to the youth. Facebook and Twitter make popular choices, as they are known quantities and social media giants. Focusing your social media marketing strategy on those two alone, might not be the best idea.
Trends among the youth tend to be shifting to a more visually predominant social media scene. Instagram and Pinterest, relatively new in the social media world, have sparked huge interest among the youth. Both these sights rely primarily on visual imagery. YouTube also relies on visual content and “according to audience measurement site Quantcast, 26% of YouTube users are under the age of 18. Another (surprising) Nielsen study revealed that the site is teens’ first choice for listening to music, which shows just how popular the video service is with their age bracket.”
The popularity of visual sites seems to be growing. Recently, Vine—a social media app dedicated to the sharing of 6-second clip videos—has entered the social media scene. Though the longevity and popularity of Vine is still anybody’s guess, it does have potential as a college marketing tool. The brevity of the videos will lead to innovative ideas that will appeal to the youth.
Make sure to develop a college marketing plan that utilizes a multitude of marketing channels. The youth tend to spread their attention between wide varieties of media, not limiting themselves to just one realm. Diversifying your college marketing strategy, not only mimics their behavior, but also increases your exposure.
 Riolo, Frank. “Don’t Forget About Video When Allocating Your Social Media Spread.” MediaPost. 14 March 2013.