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BizReport : Social Marketing : July 05, 2010

Ketchum, myYearbook define teen influencers

When it comes to the youth marketplace, many marketers are turning to social networks to keep teens engaged. A new study indicates that this is the right strategy to take because, contrary to popular thought, the teens most likely to influence branded purchases are highly social - both online and offline.

by Kristina Knight

Ketchum and myYearbook partnered on the study which found that teens who influence other teens' purchases are 40% more likely to attend real-world parties and 20% more likely to have friends visit them within the last week.

"The survey dispels the notion that the most engaged teens on a social network are most likely to be home alone on a Saturday night; those teens who are most social online are most social offline," said Geoff Cook, myYearbook CEO.

Perhaps most interesting about the study is the definition of the different types of teen influencers. In the social space influencers are the people, whether targeting teens or adults, who marketers most want to engage.

So, which teens are the biggest hitters?

• 'Active' Teens. These are the teens who are most likely to post often within social networks - even from those weekend arties. They spend at least two hours each day on social networks and 91% have 500 friends or more within their networks. These teens spend money and tell their friends what they purchased and how they like it.

What do marketers and brands need to know about these teens?

• 'Mid-Range' Teens. Between the ages of 15 and 17, these teens are the most likely to be engaged with their social networks. Teens under age 15 'hate it' when parents friend them in social networks and teens over age 18 are most likely to be found sharing pictures or video.

How can brands engage teens within the social space?

• 'Content Hungry' Teens. They not only want to talk to friends and shop, today's teen influencers want content. News headlines, gossip, video clips (both professionally produced and user generated) and straight-forward branded information. Most importantly, teens just want to truth.

"Brands hoping to keep up should find unique ways to participate in the things teenagers already care about versus competing with what's already capturing their attention," said Adrianna Giuliani, Ketchum's Vice President of Creative and Strategic Planning.

Tags: Ketchum, myYearbook, social marketing, social networks, social teens, teen demographic

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