Seven-in-ten Facebook users say they visit site daily. Despite the ever-changing relationship with its consumers, Facebook users remain loyal and active to the platform. 70% of Facebook users say they visit the site daily, including 49% who say they visit several times a day. (These figures are statistically unchanged from those reported in the Center’s 2019 survey about social media use.)
Smaller shares – though still a majority – of Snapchat or Instagram users report visiting these respective platforms daily (59% for both). And being active on these sites is especially common for younger users. For instance, 71% of Snapchat users ages 18 to 29 say they use the app daily, including six-in-ten who say they do this multiple times a day. The pattern is similar for Instagram: 73% of 18- to 29-year-old Instagram users say they visit the site every day, with roughly half (53%) reporting they do so several times per day.
YouTube is used daily by 54% if its users, with 36% saying they visit the site several times a day. By comparison, Twitter is used less frequently, with fewer than half of its users (46%) saying they visit the site daily.
Below is a chart showing income demographics by platform to help plan your 4th quarter marketing campagins.
In a pattern consistent with past studies on social media use, there are some stark age differences. Some 84% of adults ages 18 to 29 say they use social media sites, which is similar to the share of those ages 30 to 49 who say this (81%). By comparison, a somewhat smaller share of those ages 50 to 64 (73%) say they use social sites, while fewer than half of those 65 and older (45%) report doing this.
These age differences generally extend to use of specific platforms, with younger users being more likely than their older counterparts to use these sites – though the gaps between younger and older Americans vary across platforms.
Majorities of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use Instagram or Snapchat and about half say they use TikTok, with those on the younger end of this cohort – ages 18 to 24 – being especially likely to report using Instagram (76%), Snapchat (75%) or TikTok (55%). These shares stand in stark contrast to those in older age groups. For instance, while 65% of adults ages 18 to 29 say they use Snapchat, just 2% of those 65 and older report using the app – a difference of 63 percentage points.
Additionally, a vast majority of adults under the age of 65 say they use YouTube. Fully 95% of those 18 to 29 say they use the platform, along with 91% of those 30 to 49 and 83% of adults 50 to 64. However, this share drops substantially – to 49% – among those 65 and older.
By comparison, age gaps between the youngest and oldest Americans are narrower for Facebook. Fully 70% of those ages 18 to 29 say they use the platform, and those shares are statistically the same for those ages 30 to 49 (77%) or ages 50 to 64 (73%). Half of those 65 and older say they use the site – making Facebook and YouTube the two most used platforms among this older population.
The Pew Research Center surveyed 1,502 US adults between January 25 and February 28 and found that 81% use the social media platform, YouTube. YouTube and Reddit were the only 2 social sites that measured statistically significant growth since 2019, (Up 10% in just 2 years).
YouTube saw increases across the board on all age levels, but the 50+ crowd grew double digits.
50-64 year olds were up 13% and 65+ rose by 11%.
The paper market is getting tight. Coated paper producers are already over-sold into September. Price increases from the mills have continued across the board on all grades of paper, and some mills are refusing additional paper orders for the balance of the year. Coated paper is particularly hard to come by and mills are becoming less and less flexible.
Pulp costs are up 40%. Corn starch is up 80%. (Corn starch is used when making paper to increase dry paper strength and improve surface conditions, as well as acting as a binder in paper coatings). Freight is up 45% and fuel is up 40%. Add those all together and you get a market with soaring prices.
There is also a transportation shortage. Today there are 8 loads to every one truck (based on National Load-to-Truck Ratio data from DAT Freight & Analytics). In the past, the common ratio is between 2 to 3 loads per available truck.
Record low inventories of sheet-fed and digital grade paper remains. The mills are not able to replenish due to increased new orders which means lead times have significantly increased. Orders need to be placed at least 12 weeks in advance. This is important to bear in mind as Autumn is only 5-weeks away which means holiday printing begins shortly after.
Paper prices already increased in April/May and July of this year. Unfortunately, when it comes to paper, we need to be prepared to pay more and wait longer this holiday season.
On July 28, 2021, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approved increasing the size limit for a Presorted First-Class Mail (FCM) Postcard. The new 9″ by 6″ maximum size card has a slightly different minimum thickness of .009″ compared to the previous maximum size dimensions of 6″ by 4.25″ with a minimum thickness of .007″. (The minimum .007″ thickness still applies to cards less than 6″X9″).
Previous dimension restrictions made it easy for First-Class Postcards to “get lost” in the mailbox as larger pieces pulled away attention, and marketers didn’t have the needed space to sell products or services. The Postal Service argued that the proposed change would make the First-Class Postcards more valuable by creating new opportunities for marketers and nonprofits to take advantage of technologies such as QR codes and variable personalization making them even more effective.
Being able to send larger cards using First-Class Postcards rates will also give mailers faster delivery service circumventing the recent reduction of delivery standards recently implemented.
See the size comparison below:
It has been over one-year since we last connected, and what a year it was. As a business owner, that time was filled with stressful learning curves that required us to make (previously unthinkable) changes to our daily operations.
Social distancing, placing sanitizing stations throughout our facility, and wearing face masks to work are things that I never thought would be necessary. Everyday life, for all of us, had changed.
We had to figure out ways to keep our staff safe and protected while fighting to stay open for business and manage capacity…all at the same time. We remained open throughout the pandemic, and we have been fortunate to retain 100% of our staff.
Our employees have been amazing. We have always been a tight-knit group that come together during difficult times. Their willingness to “jump in” whenever or wherever needed are core reasons that we are extremely nimble and flexible for our clients. Truly, I am inspired and grateful for the bravery our staff has shown over the past year, and their commitment to our organization, clients, and each other.
The current economic climate makes it difficult to project and prepare for the future. Mail delivery has been significantly impacted for a multitude of reasons. Be sure to check out the postal articles within this issue that detail the short and long-term challenges facing the USPS today.
Even with all of the challenges, direct mail has gained some momentum during the pandemic as the number of people working and staying at home has substantially increased. Marketing through the mail is a perfect way to reach out and touch people safely. Mail is tangible, interactive, and a perfect complement to your digital advertising.
As restrictions continue to ease, now, more than ever before, your business should be focused on marketing, regaining and retaining connections, and actively searching for new customers.
With that in mind, we made some improvements throughout the past year too. We installed a new digital press and purchased new bindery equipment. We also upgraded software, computers, and security measures allowing us to expand our capabilities to serve our clients better.
It is during tough times, such as these, that we reflect on how grateful we are to you, our clients, partners, and staff. Without you, we would not be here. We hope that you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe and hope that your businesses thrive as we weather through this unprecedented storm.
As always, I thank you for your business and partnership.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the financial, operational, and service performances of the USPS. Here’s how:
The cumulative number of employees quarantined reached 19.1%, while non-career employee turnover rate hit 40%.
Lack of airplane and truck capacity, and industry competition for both, disrupted the supply chain and transportation resources particularly during the holiday season
Shift in Mail/Package Composition
A dramatic decline in First Class Mail combined with an unprecedented package volume increase of 40%
The postal service continued to deliver to its 160 million address client base throughout 2020. However, constraints in processing and transportation networks prevented timely and consistent arrival of product.
Package delivery is expected to continue to rise in the coming decade. While this dynamic will create strong opportunities for the Postal Service and may leverage it to be even
more relevant, it also requires significant changes to its operating model. In the coming months we are anxious to learn what USPMG Louis DeJoy’s 10-year vision for the postal will be.
After passing a series of multi-trillion dollar COVID-relief measures, Congress has finally provided some financial support for the Postal Service with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
The bill changes the $10 billion loan to the Postal Service authorized by the CARES Act (enacted March 27, 2020) into a grant.
Also, the STOP Act from October 2018, requires the Postal Service to receive from foreign postal administrations electronic information about the sender, recipient, and contents of 100% of inbound parcels, and transmit to Customs and Border Protection, by December 31, 2020. Most foreign posts aren’t able to provide that data yet, and the USPS and Customs and Border Protection have encountered other challenges in meeting the deadline. This extends the cut-off date to March 15, 2021.
So, what exactly IS Voice Search? Voice search (also known as voice-enabled) is a voice activated Internet search. The search method is same as the performing a normal search on your computer or mobile device. Voice search is often interactive and allows a system to ask for clarification. The search can be done on any device with a voice input dialog system.
Language is the most essential factor for a system to understand and provide the most accurate results. This covers multiple languages, dialects, and even accents. Systems can recognize speech in hundreds of languages, as users want a voice assistant that both understands them and speaks to them understandably.
Mechanisms use Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) for input. They can also include Text-To-Speech (TTS) for output. Users might sometimes be required to activate the virtual assistant before performing the search. The search system will detect the language spoken by the user, then detect the keywords and context of the sentence. Next, the device will return results depending on its output. A device with a screen might display the results, while a device without a screen will speak them back to the searcher.
Voice search is currently not a part of Google’s algorithm; however, it is still dictating current search results. Voice search queries often yield different results than if the user had typed in a text-based search. For SEO, it’s a good idea for businesses to be on their toes with voice search components for their consumers who are adapting and switching over to that medium.
Voice search content must be specifically optimized for voice. It needs to be more direct and conversational so that it will accurately sync with search queries. This will help boost traffic by staying relevant and more visible to consumers.
Below are some mind-blowing statistics as it pertains to voice search. It is the wave of the future and marketers need to construct their digital marketing plans with a focus on how Voice Search can benefit their business.
- Grocery shopping accounts for more than 20% of voice-based orders
- Voice-based shopping is expected to jump to $40 billion in 2022
- By 2024, the global voice-based smart speaker market is estimated to be worth $30 billion
- 60% of smartphone users have tried voice search at least once in the past 12 months
- 55% of teenagers are using voice search daily
- Top 3 common keywords in voice search phrases are “how”, what” and “best”.