Teens Admit They Love Brands, Not Facebook
Undoubtedly, one of the most important things about online marketing is simply knowing your audience. Where you reach out to them and how you do it depends entirely on whom you are trying to reach. A terrific ad campaign can fall flat if it is improperly targeted. This importance became very clear in a new interview run by CNBC, in which teens talked about how they use -- and don't use -- social media. Perhaps unsurprisingly, teens said that Facebook just isn't on their radar; ironic, given how the company originally catered exclusively to college students. Let's take a moment to break down some of their key points in more detail.
Teens Flock to Brands
First of all, teens admitted that they embrace branding and base their decisions off of the perceptions they and their peers have of certain services. "Facebook is just not cool," one young man said. “Our generation is quite ‘brand-y.’ We are obsessed (with brands) and we’re like sheep, we just flock to whatever seems the coolest. And Facebook is at the point of no return.”
To be fair to Facebook, it did not start out by targeting teens, but college students. It then grew into the overall teen market, and then grew again as adults and businesses came on board. But it is clear that Facebook, once thought of as new and trendy, has lost its shine. The new generation of upcoming consumers thinks of it as an outdated app that older people use, and they're checking out.
A Group Mentality
It sounds like some of the mentality here is based simply on what the group thinks. Teenagers know how their peers look at Facebook and other apps, and they actively cater their responses to fit in. "When I ask if they’re on Facebook, they would look at me as if they had barely ever heard of it,” one researcher noted. That's despite the fact that another teen said many of them had the app, they just did not use it. They absolutely know what it is, but there seems to be this underlying aversion to admitting it or using it.
The Business Side
Does this mean you should not use Facebook for marketing? Of course not. It's still the largest and most popular social media product in the world. It also owns platforms that teens do use, like WhatsApp and Instagram. It's a massive network with an incredible reach, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon.
Again, though, this does show why you must know your audience. What are the best platforms for teenagers? What are the best for millennials, now mainly in their 20s and 30s? If you're targeting older adults and seniors, are there social media options to consider, or do you need to go another route entirely?
This also shows why you have to constantly let your approach evolve. Nothing lasts forever. In the online world, things can change dramatically in just a few years. You must keep an eye on these changes and shift with them.