I was reading an article in the latest issue of Strategy yesterday about how social media has exponentially sped up the distribution of information and the ability for us to connect with one another.
Yes, at this point, to us marketers, this is common knowledge. But the perspective of this article focused on the youth market -- namely teenagers, aged 15-19.
They are the first generation to not know of a world without the Internet or without social media. How SCARY is that?!
68% of the teens surveyed use social networks regularly throughout the week, 48%, email and 46%, SMS. If they're not passing each other in the hall or sitting with one another in class, they are behind a screen.
And that screen is predominantly owned by Facebook.
But do they really care about connecting with or 'liking' brands? No, at least not according to the new research presented by DECODE and Strategy.
These teens carry an unusual skepticism on their shoulders when it comes to their online interactions. For them, liking a brand does not mean friendship, because they're not on Facebook to interact with brands! They don't trust them and don't feel advertising and Facebook make sense.
I love these teens! So much more honest and smarter than I could've anticipated. They see quite easily through the smoke and mirrors. Unwilling to 'like' for the sake of 'liking', but are more likely to be motivated to do so when the relationship is mutually beneficial and sincere.
So, the next time you're thinking about taking to Facebook to advertise, why not ask yourself what the teenagers (who've grown up in this digital world) would say? Are you being sincere? Are you really offering something of value? Do you honestly plan on being there day-in and day-out?
They're not liking for the sake of it, so please don't advertise for that reason either.