Sharing Milestones on Social Media is the New Norm

Black and white ultrasounds, diamond ring adorned fingers and moving vans filled with boxes, these life moments once reserved for close family and friends are now being shared first on social media, according to a new survey by Sprout Social.

The social media management company found that nearly 80 per cent of people say they’ve used social sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to share a milestone within their network.

Sprout Social found spreading personal, celebratory news on social now tops sharing major life moments, edging out face-to-face, over the phone and text message—three communicative means that all chalked up between 70 and 75 per cent.

While champagne-popping milestones are more likely to be shared on social, nearly half of survey respondents (47 per cent) said they’ve shared difficult moments such as the death of a loved one with their online network.

Facebook is the reigning platform of choice to share celebratory moments, with 94 per cent indicating they’ve used the site to share milestones. Instagram followed at 39 per cent and Snapchat came in third at 27 per cent.

But when it comes to future announcements, millennials have a penchant for Instagram when compared to other generations, with nearly half saying they would post a milestone to their photo feed.

These Instaworthy moments are also reason for consumers to include a brand, as one in three surveyed said they’d mention a brand in a post about a personal accomplishment on social, like finishing a marathon for the first time. 

As for what inspires them to include a brand mention as part of a milestone announcement, half said it would be to recommend the brand to family and friends, whereas a third said it would be to say thanks.

Sprout Social said these numbers present a new opportunity for brands as purchasing power can be directly tied to social mentions: 48 percent of respondents and 58 percent of millennials have bought a product or service—or even chosen a vendor—for a life milestone after seeing it on social media.

“The burgeoning opportunity is for brands to connect with people by encouraging them to celebrate, commemorate and share those major moments with the people, products and services that helped along the way,” said Andrew Caravella, VP of strategy and brand engagement at Sprout Social.

“When used authentically and effectively, brands can weave together people’s natural inclination to share with inspiration for user-generated content, cultivating brand loyalty and advocacy in the process.”

Sprout Social surveyed 1,200 consumers and analyzed more than 5.7 billion messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for this report.