Teenagers . . . with all those fresh ideas, disposable income and time to spend on social media are many brands' target market and YOUR customers of the future. We were lucky enough to get a peak inside the mind of a teenager this week as Freya joined the Monkey team for work experience. Here's what she told us about how she uses social media and what we've learned from her visit.
Over to you Freya
As a 15 year old, social media is quite a big part of my life. I use it easily at least once a day and so do all my friends. Personally, I like to use it for talking with my friends and to generally keep up with what everyone is doing and what is happening in the world. The main social media apps/websites I use are: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Instagram is definitely my most used social media. I use it to follow my friends and I also follow a lot of artists on there. Among my friends, Instagram is used less as an outlet to chat to each other and more as just somewhere to share photos of what is happening in our lives. On Instagram, the content seems a lot more personalised and things I actually want to see and because of that, in my opinion, is much more interesting than content on websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Instagram also has a much wider group of people on it. I like to be able to follow and receive posts from all different types of accounts; it’s great being able to scroll down my feed and see posts from people such as NASA and then posts from an account like ‘Cats of Instagram’!
Online, I mainly connect with fashion companies such as H&M, Topshop and Urban Outfitters. I like how these brands post the best picks of what they are selling and what is on trend at the moment, meaning I don’t have to go onto each specific website and trawl through everything they sell. I also like that on their posts, these brands get to the point. I am willing to read great, long, paragraphs but only if they are about something I’m really interested in. Though, when brands use ‘current’ words and phrases such as “Bae” and “On fleek” on their posts, personally it turns me away.
I also connect with companies such as BBC news, NASA and Buzzfeed news. I find that social media is a much easier way to catch up with the news, so I follow several news accounts to keep up to date. I like the NASA account as I am interested in space and they post really great images.
What we learned from Freya
- Don’t fake it; if you aren’t a young person (and by that we mean over 20!) don’t think that you sound like one. Why not employ someone who has a genuine voice that is relevant to the brand?
- Churn is invisible. People’s streams are full of ‘stuff’ – you need visually arresting images and innovation to stop the scroll. Digital natives are savvy consumers of media content.
- For fashion retailers, the idea that social media is more important than the website is revolutionary. More generally Instagram is the perfect medium to show products in action in ways that make it easier to share, select and buy.
- Think in terms of tribes. Freya likes space, cats and fashion . . . some of her friends do too. Others are obsessed by music or fashion or sci-fi. Thinking about your target market is just good marketing, but it’s even more important for teenagers as they have such a clear vision of what they like and dislike.
- Facebook was ‘invented’ in 2004, Twitter in 2006, Instagram in 2010. The one thing we can guarantee is that in five years time 15 years olds will be using something different as their main means of communicating with their friends. We expect it will be even more visual, faster and possibly more disposable. You have been warned - move over Grandad, Freya's generation is on their way.