You don’t have to spend much time with a room full of teenagers to realize that teens and adults approach life, almost every aspect of it differently. So it’s no surprise that the way teens interact with social media and the way adults do is quite different. Yet, some marketers don’t take this information to heart, and thus fail to reach their audience appropriately. If your demographic includes or excludes the teen market, understanding these differences will help you make wise, informed social media marketing choices.
Adults and Teens Are Both Active
First, it’s important to note that both adults and teens are active in online. The Pew Research Center indicates that 81 percent of teens are using social media regularly, compared to 72 percent of adults. While teens are more prominent, it’s not a huge difference, and both groups have a huge audience to be reached through social sites.
The break down by age range is also interesting. High schoolers, those between the ages of 13 and 18, reported a social media activity rate of 81 percent. The largest demographic was the 18-29 year olds, which were 89 percent active. The 30 to 49 group was 78 percent active, dropping to 60 percent for 50 to 64 and just 43 percent for the 65 and over crowd.
Facebook Leads the Pack
One similarity shared between teens and adults is their most popular social media platform – Facebook. Both groups use Facebook more than other media platforms. Yet here, the numbers show a bigger statistical gap. Nearly all teens, 94 percent to be exact, are on Facebook and use it regularly. Just 67 percent of adults report being on Facebook.
Differences with Other Platforms
After Facebook, the platforms that the groups connect through are where the main differences lie. Adults can often be found on Pinterest, especially female adults, looking up craft ideas, inspirational quotes and, of course, recipes, but only 1 percent of teens reported spending any time “pinning.” Instagram is also popular with adults who want an easy way to share all of those mobile photographs they take. Teens, on the other hand, find themselves on Twitter more frequently than other non-Facebook social media platforms. In fact, some teens’ Twitter feeds read almost like a mini-diary of their days.
These numbers show that it’s the adults that are embracing the new social media platforms first, not the teens, in spite of how tech-savvy most modern teens are. This is an interesting fact, and it should make marketers consider their audience carefully when launching a campaign on a new social media platform.
What the Numbers Mean
It’s easy for marketers to get too caught up in numbers like these, trying to find meaning where there isn’t any, but these numbers are helpful in targeting a specific audience while marketing through social media. For instance, if your target market is young adults or teenagers, marketing through Pinterest isn’t going to do you much good. If, on the other hand, your target market is young mothers, it’s going to be more effective.
Also, because the vast majority of people who are active on social media are using Facebook, regardless of age, you should be focusing some of your efforts on that profitable market. If you aren’t, you are missing the potential to reach a large number of potential customers or clients, because almost everyone who is on social media is on Facebook.
This generational gap also shows the importance of knowing your target demographic. If you don’t, you may be wasting your time and money marketing to a site that your audience doesn’t use. If you do, and you take these statistics to heart, you can maximize your social media marketing time and money to get the biggest impact.