Marketing Madness

Teens & Young Adults Make an Easy Target for Marketers

When browsing on Facebook, Twitter or any other popular social site it doesn’t take long to realize that most teenagers freely share personal information.  A little too freely by many standards, but that’s another story.  The fact that they are willing to post detailed information about what they enjoy doing with friends, where they had dinner, places they want to travel and just about every other detail of their life, it is getting easier for marketers to show very detailed advertisements just to them.

A report titled, “Teens, Social Media and Privacy” found that since 2006 the percentage of teenagers who post photos of themselves on a regular basis has shot up from 79% to 91%.  Over 70% are also sharing details about their school, home towns and more.  20% even admitted to posting their phone numbers publically.

With all this information available online, much of it publically to anyone who knows where to look, it is getting easier and easier for marketers to specifically target these young users.   While this type of intrusion on privacy may bother older users, the younger generation reported that only 9% of them are concerned about third-parties accessing their data.

As these teens grow up and move into the ‘real world’ the question is whether or not they will continue to post freely online or if they will start being a little more conservative in what they share.  There is some indication that many people continue to share these details well into their twenties and possibly beyond.

As marketers continue to get better at quickly creating attractive advertisements which are extremely focused on a very specific audience they may be able to reap excellent results.  The problem may be, however, that as these younger users realize that marketers are using their personal information to target them with advertisements they may stop sharing so freely.

With the generation of teenagers today being among the first to grow up using Facebook (or MySpace) and other social networks it will be interesting to see how it changes their attitudes about personal information.  This information will be very valuable to marketers, and interesting to those studying the impact of social sharing on people.

Personally I found the report to be interesting, but not at all surprising.  What about you?  Are you using this type of information in your marketing campaigns?  Is it something you’ll look into using down the road?

The full report can be found HERE if you’re interested in reviewing it.

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Michael Levanduski

Michael Levanduski is the assistant editor of Performance Marketing Insider, and an experienced freelance writer. He writes content for a wide range of sites in virtually every niche, though he specializes in technical writing as well as creating content for the performance and internet marketing industry. Michael was born in Grand Rapids, MI where he still lives with his wife and three children.

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  1. You are right. Many teens are using social media sites more than any other age group. This is the high time marketers took advantage of this.

  2. Hi Michael,

    I would like to start from a positive perspective. Teenagers have their own needs. Finding those needs and creating products that will specifically address those needs is a good thing.
    What is wrong is when marketers are creating false needs and inducing false but powerful wants in the mind of an unsuspecting teenager, just to sell junk.
    So, as you can see it is not a marketing problem it is a human problem. It is a matter of dominant values inside a community, society, nation etc.
    As for me I will certainly use that information down the road.

    Have a nice day

  3. Everyone is working on expanding their mobile presence, which really is a smart idea seeing as social media is taking over, and not only with Teens. Using that to your advantage as company really isn’t that bad of an idea when you really think about it.

  4. Today Social media has becoming more and more popular in around the world. Many people are addicted to facebook and twitter, especially youth people are showing more interested in those things. It is good opportunity to use in mobile also.

    1. I don’t even have social media but I’m addicted to my ipad!!!!!its lit cause it keeps me entertained!!!!!!!!!!!

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