New College Media Platforms

College Media Platforms

Arising Non-social Media Platforms and their Implications 

It comes as no surprise that Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat are the most predominant social media platforms for college students. These platforms have a wide array of marketing potential. However, there are so many other great spaces to find engaging digital content where many people, specifically Gen Z, spend their time. Last week, we asked some of our Instagram followers, mostly college students, to respond to the question: What other non-social media, online platforms do you use in your free time? We analyzed their responses to determine potential marketing opportunities.

Video Streaming Platforms

The digital platform mentioned the most was Hulu, where 27% of respondents say they spend their free time. This does not come as a surprise considering the popularity of online streaming services. Netflix was also a popular response, with 18% of respondents having listed it; however, what does come as a surprise is that Hulu received more responses than Netflix. This may be a good thing for reaching a target audience of college students.

Hulu’s most basic plan is known to have ads, to get rid of them, one must upgrade their Hulu plan and pay an extra $6 per month. This is not financially ideal in the eyes of a college student. However, Hulu has a special bundle, where college students with Spotify premium can get access to Showtime and Hulu’s ad-supported plan, all for the price of $4.99. Many college students utilize this deal. Lastly, Spotify was another non-social media platform that our followers actively use. Therefore, there is strong potential to reach college students outside of the typical realms of social media.

Instant Messaging

Although there are interactions between users on instant messaging platforms, it can still be classified as removed from the typical content creation and sharing social media platforms such as Instagram and Tiktok. A few more platforms that our followers listed were Slack, GroupMe, and Telegram. These platforms don’t involve sharing digital content which makes the potential for marketing opportunities somewhat limited. However, they do provide a channel to contact college students specifically and multiple people at once. Brands can simply send messages to college students directly, thereby building a two-way personal communication with the audience. Ultimately, from our followers’ responses, it’s important to note these platforms are taking away from free time spent on social media and their rising popularity as a means of communication.

Though social media marketing is still highly effective media to reach the college demographic, it’s not the only digital platforms where they spend time. These video streaming and instant messaging platforms provide other means of engaging college students in our ever-changing digital society.

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