Are You Prioritizing Your Footprint for the Future?

Mary Meeker’s digital trends report is always a fantastic and insightful look at where things have been and where things are probably going. Her latest report is full of insights that I still want to explore further, but one, in particular, stood out in my initial read-through.

The most important social networks for teens (in order from most to least), according to Meeker, are:

  1. Instagram
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. Snapchat
  5. Tumblr

Not only is this different than what we typically hear (Snapchat is where teens are, teens don’t care about Facebook, etc.), it’s also in contradiction to what most marketers are prioritizing when it comes to their social footprints.

Marketers are often driven by usage numbers. How many people are using platform X? That’s certainly one question we should be asking, but we should also consider the role of platforms in consumers' lives. That changes the equation and helps us focus on the platforms where our messages can gain deeper resonance.

Know Your Audience of Today and Tomorrow

This doesn’t mean abandon your current social footprint. After all, you’re there for a reason (I hope). It’s not even saying these findings are predictive of how today’s teens will evolve when it comes to their social behaviors over the next several years.

It does mean marketers won’t have time to play catch-up when consumer behavior no longer reflects their social initiatives. The marketers that are listening, learning and anticipating consumers’ moves of tomorrow will have a leg-up over their competitors.

The odds are our customers of tomorrow will behave very differently than our customers today. That means doing the work now to understand what they care about and constantly evaluate how you’re going to get ready for them.