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Teen Social Media Preferences and How They Can Benefit Retailers

Posted by Contributors on November 5, 2017

Social media has changed the way we interact with the world around us, with around 2.3 billion active social media users across the globe.

Today’s teens, widely described as Generation Z, are digital natives, having never known a time without the internet or social media.  They use these platforms to connect with their peers, share content, gain knowledge, and make purchases. Connecting with this target audience through these platforms is essential for contemporary brands.

Since teens account for a large portion of social media users appealing to this demographic on their playing field will prove incredibly valuable for brand awareness and performance marketing initiatives.

Here are a few of the Gen Z social media habits that will help brands make inroads into this highly-coveted demographic.

Mobile Creatures

The average teen spends three hours and 38 minutes per day surfing the web via their smartphones. More than half of teens said they also spend at least three hours on social networks or messaging apps.

bii facebook and instagram user demographics fb ig.pngAs a result of their hunger for mobile-based media, Gen Z has become a multi-screen generation. For example, during televised live events, teens like to use platforms such as Instagram or Twitter, in addition to mobile apps and messaging to share their thoughts and opinions while they're watching in real-time.

Generation Z is spontaneous and responds well to immediate gratification. To capitalize on the mobile mentality of today's teens, you must be able to provide answers to their questions instantly. By creating social media campaigns around trending events, brands can boost adolescent engagement in a big way.

Visuals Rule

Snapchat is the most popular social media platform for teenagers, with 79% adopting this as their favorite channel. Instagram Stories is beginning to rival Snapchat for adoption by younger generations. While Facebook is still used by many teens, its growth is slowing down significantly while visual channels like Snapchat and Instagram continue to grow in popularity among 12 to 17 year-olds.

EMarketer has described this segment as the 'Facebook Never.' Essentially, these Facebook skippers are tweens or teens that are overlooking Facebook entirely and running straight into the arms of the rival platforms instead. What remains to be seen is whether these platforms are truly competing with Facebook for a generation or simply better-suited for an age group that is still lacking the large communities or life experiences that Facebook is better suited to serve.bii consumer perception of facebook and instagram fb ig.png

Younger consumers like to invest in a brand or business with a story. By using visual social media channels to create a strong narrative, marketers can stand out from the crowd and have an excellent chance of indoctrinating a young, engaged audience that will most likely grow with the brand. By consistently creating engaging visual content including image-based campaigns and fun videos that communicate a brand’s vision, values and story, merchants will be able to gain the trust and loyalty of today’s teens.

The teens of the digital age are smart, tech-savvy, empowered mobile beasts that crave exciting visual content, quick interactions, and the ability to voice their opinions at any time of day or night, no matter where they are in the world. Marketers need to make sure social media strategies are visual, responsive, conversational, and based on poignant trends relevant to Generation Z.

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Topics: teens, millennials, Marketing

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