Big-5-Social-NetworksYou have to hand it to them, today’s teenagers (often called Generation Z – post Millennial or Generation Touch!) are incredibly savvy about social media. They’ve grown up during the evolution of social media, smart phones and tablets, and they seem to know intuitively how it all works together. Unlike some of us more mature types who tend to know what we like and like what we know – and sometimes fear going off piste on new devices and social sites – young people are happy to flick between Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook on their smartphone in the course of an evening or weekend, whilst using their tablet – and all at the same time. This second screen focused generation have it all at their fingertips and know how to use it!

At one point, there was a belief that teens were rejecting Facebook in preference for the more visual Instagram and the like, which set alarm bells ringing for any business trying to reach this lucrative audience. However, the 12-24 years age group continues to represent the highest percentage of Facebook users – and projections for the future show no statistical deviation. So it’s not that they’re deactivating their Facebook accounts in droves, they are merely broadening their horizons and enjoying the opportunity to interact with others in different ways across a range of social media platforms.

Fish where the savvy fish are!

And this presents an continued opportunity for businesses. You simply need to ‘fish’ where your teenage audience goes. Why settle for posting content on Facebook, when you can add it to Instagram as well – especially when these newer platforms are enjoying monumental growth in registered users. Facebook is a place where teens may ‘virtually’ bump into family friends or, God forbid, their own parents, when what they crave most is to be with their own friends. If you can extend your brand presence across other social media platforms that appeal to teens you are more likely to be accepted and considered okay to like and follow.

And because young people are so influenced by what their peers are into, the minute you start to get teens engaging with your brand you can be reasonably confident that plenty of others will follow suit. But this means being relevant to your target audience – for the egotistical teenager it means focusing on them not you or your brand. Make sure they know exactly what they can get out of interacting with your brand, whether it’s the chance to win a prize, discount when they next visit your shop or freebies for whoever posts the best photo of themselves with one of your products.

Teenagers can be a really tough crowd to win over. If you’ve cracked it through a social media strategy, I’d love to hear about your experience! 🙂