Yet again we see the screaming headlines ‘Teens Abandon Facebook’ with subtext suggesting marketers do the same. One of the more recent reports is from an investment bank Piper Jaffray inferring kids are definitely over Facebook and moving in their droves to Instagram and Twitter. Their report suggests it’s because “teens are increasingly visual and sound bite communicators.”
Well yes, that makes sense as most kids use their Smartphone like an arm extension taking photos, creating videos often without much attention to accompanying eloquent prose. They could do that on Facebook I hear you say, so why the move away?
Time To Jump Off…Mom’s on Facebook!
If you ask Teens, why they’re not using Facebook, it’s often because their parents are also using the same site and want to be their ‘Facebook friend’ to keep an eye on what they’re doing Throw yourself back to being a teen and ask yourself, what would you do?
So, perhaps it is true teens are moving away from Facebook to other sites, but does that have to matter to you, the marketer? In a word ‘no’ if you are not selling products or services targeted at the teen market.
Just recently I was working with a social media manager and she told me how she’d been given instructions to talk with the ‘kids’ in the company for ideas about using social media. The company is already using Facebook and Twitter however suggestions returned included SnapChat and Instagram and the feeling was, the company had better respond. But should they?
According to a report from Business Intelligence, the research and analytics branch of Business Insider, the average user of SnapChat is under 25 and predominantly female. From data compiled by the Pew Research Centre, more than 90 per cent of Instagram users are under 35.
So let’s go back to the company I spoke of earlier They’ve done they research and they know their customer is predominantly male, in his 40s and a business executive. Therefore, he’s not on SnapChat, and while there is some possibility of him being on Instagram, it’s more likely he’s on Facebook which has captured the older audience and most probably on LinkedIn, the network for professionals. So, in this scenario, investing effort and marketing budget into sites where the ideal customer is not hanging out makes no commercial sense whatsoever. So why would you do it?
While I’ve no doubt we’ll continue to see headlines about teen abandonment of Facebook, if they’re not your target audience it has little relevance for you. You’ll notice I did not say no relevance as teens are your future buyers and things change fast with social sites which mean keeping an eye on trends and being ready to adapt and move with them.
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Crole Smith is a qualified coach, Social Selling specialist and LinkedIn expert with a background in travel and travel technology of over 20 years. Carole has presented at conferences, hosted public seminars, delivered training and webinars to businesses around the country and is the author of the extensive Irish Travel Industry Digital Trends Report 2013.