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Technology Corner

Reaching Audiences with Social Media: A New Report What social media platforms do you use? Facebook, Twitter or YouTube? How about Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Pinterest or LinkedIn? Many people in the U.S. use at least three of these eight platforms according to data released in March 2018 by the Pew Research Center. If you are conducting nutrition and health education reinforced with social media, knowing your users and how to reach them is very important.

To some degree, the use of these platforms depends on age. About 78 percent of 18- to 24-year olds use Snapchat, with 71 percent of Snapchat users visiting the site multiple times daily.  A similar percentage (71 percent) of 18- to 24-year-olds use Instagram, and 45 percent use Twitter.

If you are a loyal Facebook enthusiast, be aware that 68 percent of U.S. adults use Facebook, with about 75 percent accessing it daily.  Facebook is widely used across all age groups, except among those ages 65 and older. 

If you or a child or grandchild uses YouTube, you are among the majority of the population. About 94 percent of 18- to 24-year olds use YouTube and 75 percent of adults access YouTube.

Pinterest is popular with women, with 41 percent of women using the site, compared with 16 percent of men.  About half of Americans with college degrees use LinkedIn.

So, Facebook and YouTube dominate overall, but don’t be afraid to try some other platforms.  Be aware of the demographics of your target audience and how best to reach them online.  See for more information about the study. 

Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Professor - NDSU
NDNC Communication Committee

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