How to Best Reach Today’s High School Graduates


Believe it or not, people who were born in 1996 just graduated from high school.

I know, it makes me feel old, too.

It might seem like right now it is not important to understand how high school graduates in 2014 are using social media platforms. After all, most high school students don’t have the kind of money needed to be able to contribute to your cause. They probably are still relying on their parents for those kinds of decisions. In the business world, however, it is always beneficial to stay ahead of the curve. Today’s high school graduates might be looking for volunteer opportunities next summer. They could be your future interns, and in a few short years they could be your target audience.

This all comes to mind because a few days ago I saw a survey conducted by a company called Niche. Only 7,000 high school graduates were surveyed so this is more a sampling, but the survey revealed some interesting trends that your organization should ponder. Here are some of the highlights.

Facebook is Far from Dead

There has been a lot of talk this year about an alleged mass exodus from Facebook, especially on the part of teenagers. Take a look at this January 2014 article from Huffington Post as an example. According to the Niche survey, however, Facebook may not be quite as dead as a door nail. Of the teens surveyed, 87% indicated that they use Facebook and Facebook also claimed the most daily users among survey participants.

LinkedIn, On the Other Hand…

The news is not so good for LinkedIn fans. If you were hoping to start nurturing relationships with donors of the future on the professional LinkedIn platform, you may need to rethink things. According to the survey, 92% of graduates polled do not use LinkedIn. This is something worth pursuing on the part of for-profit and nonprofit organizations. If today’s graduates aren’t using LinkedIn, how are they approaching their searches for jobs?

Instagram is a Good Place to Build Presence

Instagram, according to the survey, can claim the most engaged users. Images are also a great way to build awareness for your cause. Showing pictures of your organization at work or posting pictures depicting the good your organization has done can be extremely powerful, and these kinds of images of course play well on the Instagram platform. Build your awareness with the younger crowd now and you may have a healthy future of contributions from that same group.

YouTube is Another Great Place to Build Your Presence Now

Although Netflix and Amazon Prime are gaining momentum, YouTube performed the best in the survey (97% of participants said they use the platform). As is the case with Instagram, YouTube would be a great place to tell your organization’s story. Putting a face to your organization’s name, interviewing beneficiaries of your efforts, and even interviews with existing contributors can all be great ways to raise awareness of your organization on YouTube. Again, beginning now can help ensure a profitable future.

Are you keeping track of how your target demographics are accessing information? Whatever group or groups you are trying to reach, it is essential that you dig a little deeper to learn about how they most prefer to learn about and donate to causes. This kind of survey is just the start!

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