Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. — Aaron Levenstein
We’ve all heard about how statistics can be manipulated. Look at this stat and you’ll get one picture, look at another stat and you get a totally different view. This “different view” recently came to light when a certain someone coined this as “alternative facts”. Of course, Twitter blew up immediately pointing out how #alternativefact was simply a fancy way of saying “lies”. But this post isn’t about whether or not what was said that day was truth or lie. This post is about what I think is the true meaning of “alternative facts”, two facts that seemingly support opposing views. This post was inspired by the phrase I’d never heard before. It got me thinking about the meaning of the words and whether or not it was possible to have #alternativefacts and truth in the same house. Here are some of my favourite #alternativefacts in social media:
Facebook is dying because teens are leaving
Fact 1 – On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year-olds in the United States. Teens now open Snapchat and Musical.ly accounts before they even think about joining the network that mom & dad are on.
Alternative Fact – 52% of teens still log in to Facebook at least once a day.
There’s no question the teen demographic is the first to jump on new apps and technology. They have no fear and fewer hurdles to learning. However, just because they are using Snapchat more (maybe) to talk with their friends doesn’t necessarily mean they are leaving Facebook altogether and it’s certainly not a harbinger of death for Facebook…yet. Snapchat is for talking to friends, building relationships. For the teen demographic, Facebook is a “business necessity” foisted on them by teachers, profs, clubs and maybe even bosses.
Social media is free
Fact 1 – The platform is free to use. You can have a profile on all the major networks and pay absolutely nothing. You are free to post your own content, videos, links etc.
Alternative Fact – At least on Facebook you pretty much have to pay to boost your own content for more than a few fans to actually see it. Besides the costs of advertising your content, or to get new fans, you also need to consider the cost of your time and any resources you might use to build your content (graphic design, photography, software, copywriters).
Every business needs to be on Facebook
Alternative Fact – 81% of millennials check Twitter at least once per day and 32% of teens consider Instagram to be the most important network.
You need to be where your customers are already hanging out. Figure that out and plant your flag there. If you’re marketing to teens and early 2o’s, Instagram and Snapchat make a lot more sense than Facebook, for now.
Instagram influencers have it easy
Fact – Many Instagram “celebrities” have risen to fame through their carefully curated and perfectly positioned photos of a lifestyle many of us only dream about.
Alternative Fact – I’ll leave you with this awesome video that gives you an idea how all those perfect poses were captured…and this doesn’t even take into account all the editing.
Do you have a favourite social media statistics debate or #alternatefact? I’d love to discuss it in the comments!