Polling News

Social Media Matters

February 15, 2024

New data from a 2023 Pew Research Center survey reveals trends of social media use across demographics, providing insight into how voters can be reached most effectively. 

Why It Matters: The way Americans view and use social media has evolved in the last several years, and consumption habits have changed from 2012 and 2016 to today. Understanding where audiences are is critical for Republicans in 2024.

By The Numbers:

  • YouTube has the highest usage nationwide, with 83% of Americans using the platform, up from less than 75% in 2018. That topline number is consistently above 80% across almost all demographics, with the exceptions of those 60+ and those with income of <$30,000 a year or who only received a high school or less education.

  • 68% of American adults use Facebook, a number which has stayed constant since 2016. A bell curve exists around age, with use among those 18-29 at 67%, among those 30-49 at 75%, among those 50-64 at 69%, and among those 65+ at 58%.

  • Among voters 18-29, use of Instagram (now at 78%), Snapchat (65%), and TikTok (62%) are on the rise from previous years.

Notable Trends: Among other notable trends is the majority (53%) of those who earn over $100,000 and those who have college or more education utilize TikTok, compared with less than 35% across all other demographics. Hispanic adults utilize WhatsApp at a higher rate (54%) than any other demographic, followed by Asians (51%), while no other single demographic breaks 40% on either TikTok or WhatsApp. It is noteworthy that Democrats and those who lean to the left use all platforms at a higher rate than Republicans, with the exception of Facebook. 

The Bottom Line: The time of simple mail, television, or door plans for reaching voters has passed. Identifying audiences and meeting them where they consume media, whether that is YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, or even WhatsApp may be beneficial for Republican candidates. In a time where the GOP must its electorate, Republicans should explore every avenue possible. 

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