In today’s digital world and social web I would be almost considered a dinosaur.

 

My generation grew up on personal computers that weren’t connected to anything but the power outlet and the laptops were the size of small cars.

I wasn’t brought up on a diet of iPods, iPhones and the Internet.

Today’s i-generation that is attending college and university have known nothing but Facebook, YouTube and Google almost since they were able to read and write.

The one year olds today are finding that the toy of choice is often an Apple iPad that makes learning and entertainment intuitive.

Digital devices dominate!

A Glimpse into the Future

So if you want to see what will be influencing tomorrow’s leaders, you need to look at what the college students of today are using to engage with brands, the devices they are using to communicate and the social networks they think are important.

Digital Media IX recently completed a study of 2,000 college students to try and discover what digital media, brands and devices are important.

Here are the top insights from that research.

1. The Top 6 Social Networks for College Students

It was no surprise to see the top three of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter scoring above 60% usage. Facebook at 97% continues as expected to be the defacto social network of choice for almost all students.

The study also revealed that LinkedIn is important for senior year college students as they start considering a career.

Pinterest is still a girl thing with 55% of college women using it with only 5% of men on the visual social networking platform.

What I found surprising was Google+ at over 20% with women counting for 60% of the participants.

The top 6 Social Networks for College Students

2. How Students Engage with Brands

I wouldn’t be tearing down your website anytime soon if you want to engage with college students. It is still the primary digital platform that they visit to to obtain information. The Facebook page engagement is primarily limited to “likes” for entering a contest or to incentive.

Over 50% engage with a video, mostly through YouTube.

More than one-third of students download apps sponsored by a brand, high lighting the growing importance of apps and mobile in engagement.

Twitter, though the least popular was revealed to be a powerful marketing medium with those that “Tweet” influencing a broad group of friends which amplifies the influence.

How Students Engage with Brands

3. Smart Phones

As expected the smart phone is the most important thing to carry around. What was surprising was the level of dominance the Apple iPhone has for this generation at 58% .

It also appears that the Blackberry (8%) has been usurped by HTC at 11%, with Samsung also rising in usage.

This survey reveals the power of the Apple brand for the younger generation.

The Impact of Smart Phones

4. Mobile Apps on Students Phones

In the survey college students identified 800 unique mobile apps but nine apps represented nearly half the responses (as listed below in the graphic).

The top three apps were Facebook, Twitter and weather. The rise of Instagram and Pinterest over the last 12 months was also evident.

As expected Sports apps were the favorite of men.

Mobile Apps on Students Phones

5. The Top 10 Digital Brands for College Students

The pervasive influence of Apple is on display for all to see here with it ranking in three of the top five digital brands.

DigitalMediaIX developed the DMIX ratio (DMIX/R) to provide understanding of brands and how they are influenced by the various forms of digital media.

Also factored in were Facebook “likes,” Twitter Followers, and YouTube Channel Views, weighted to reflect their relative importance.

The Top 10 Digital Brands for College Students

You can view the top 50 digital brands at the Digital Media IX website

What About You?

Do any of the results surprise you?

Could you use any of the information revealed to assist you with your marketing.

Look forward to hearing your feedback and comments.

Image by sparktography