In the U.S. (and probably in just about every other modern country in the world), teenagers seem to be constantly connected to the Internet. It has been projected that almost 75 percent of all of those who can, do go online every day and that is a number that continues to snowball. It might be their smart phone, laptop, gaming console or even their school computers, but they are pretty much online all of the time. And, as you might guess, social networking including Facebook, Twitter and their kin are a large part of where they hang.
It would also seem obvious that this huge and growing (no pun intended) young group would be a very lucrative crowd for companies and their marketing armies to tap into. Well, not unlike the sometimes-whimsical world of teenage friendships, things aren’t always what they seem. Even online.
According to a new report by Forrester Research, only a small fraction (6 percent) of U.S. consumers between the ages of 12 and 17 show any interest in engaging brands on social networking platforms like Facebook, even though they’re routinely posting status updates to social networking sites.
However, it does seem that teens DO use social media to discuss brands and products they have an interest in, they just want to lead the conversation, not have it fed to them. So if you are marketing to them, you may have to become part of the conversation in less obvious ways. Like it or not.