Using Social Media When You Go, Literally [Research]

Social Media Is Sandwich Media

Social Media is Sandwich MediaPeople have integrated social media into their lives in very personal ways.

Social media in 2014 is how we as human beings interact and communicate now. It doesn’t matter where we are physically located or whom we’re with. Social media has a magnetic pull so that our focus isn’t necessarily on the people we’re with in real life.

In New York City, it’s not unusual to see couples in restaurants at dinner staring into the glow of their smartphones, not their date’s eyes. Based on Nielsen results, this is neither surprising nor uncommon.

Social media is part of our daily routine according to Nielsen.Social Media Use on Computers and Smartphones 2014

  1.  64% of social media users use social media networks at least once a day using a computer.
  2. 47% of smartphone owners visited social networks daily during the past year.
  3. Mobile social media usage has shifted from mobile websites to mobile apps.


5 Ways we use social media on-the-go (literally)

Here are 5 salient facts regarding how social media is used on-the-go.Using social media in the bathroom

  1. 40% of adults aged 18 to 24 use social media in the bathroom compared to 21% overall.  While this may sound a bit odd, users may be substituting social media via a smartphone for the print newspaper or magazine. Alternatively, it may be a way to get privacy at work.
  2. 48% of moms with children under 13 years-old use social media in the car versus 31% overall. This is a point where additional information would be useful. What are the moms doing? Most likely waiting for their kids after school or other activity. It will be interesting to see how this data evolves as more cars integrate social media connectivity into their newer models. Mazda is currently advertising this functionality.
  3. 44% of adults aged 25 to 34 check social media while at a restaurant versus 31% overall. While my husband loves to check in via Foursquare because he enjoys the gamification, he tends to be discrete about it. The question is what are these users doing? Are they getting dating tips, posting food photos, or finding out about the late night party?
  4. 56% of adults aged 25 to 34 use social media at work. This activity makes sense. It’s a way of keeping up with friends and family during the day. It’s a great break from what you’re doing. The challenge for businesses is how are your employees representing you.
  5. 57% of households with income of  $150k+ are most likely to network in the office compared with 35% overall. Using income as an indicator of job type, these employees are more likely to have jobs where they’re on computers and phones so that this activity is more discrete.

Social media: Sandwich media

Based on these activities, social media is an activity squeezed in between other events. It’s the information upon which we snack. Viewed this way, social media is sandwich media is sandwich media

Like a sandwich where the bread serves as a container for other food, social media holds our messages and satisfies our primal need to stay connected.

  • Bread: The social media platform that delivers the communication.
  • Filling: The content you’re sharing or curating.
  • Dressing: The addition of hashtags and references to enhance your message reach.

3 Major social media is sandwich media tips

Like the sandwiches we wrap up to get nourishment on-the-go, social media provides similar benefits.

  1. Social media continues to consume participants’ time. Social media is used across devices based on where we are and what devices are handy.  Actionable Marketing Tip:  Ensure that the content you share can be access via a smartphone, computer and tablet.
  2. Social media is sandwiched between other activities. Your social media content is often a time filler. THE EXCEPTION: when the user actively seek useful information you provide to help them make a purchase decision.  Actionable Marketing Tip: Make your social media shared content bite size. This  means using a great title to pull readers in and facilitating readability. You can link to bigger pieces of content.
  3. Social media context matters. Since we consume social media everywhere to stay connected with our family and friends and to avoid FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out,) where we are when we receive your social media message is important.  Actionable Marketing Tip: Schedule your social media sharing to maximize audience interest. Said differently, Organize your shared content based on your audience’s activities.

Social media is sandwich media. Therefore serve bite size content that your target audience can consume on-the-go.

How have you changed your social media based on your target audience’s usage habits?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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