Teens Talk More About Brands

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Teens Talk More About Brands

Many teens aged 12 to 17 years old enjoy discussing various brands in social media sites compared to other channels. They enjoy conversations about their favorite brands which include chocolates and candy brands, in where they positively endorsed the brand to their friends.


  • A survey of more than 2,000 US teens aged 13-17 found that youth have an average of 145 conversations a week about brands.
  • That is twice the rate of adults.
  • They are also talking about advertising the things they observe, as the number of citations from advertising and media was 10% higher than the adult population.
  • It was also found that most teen conversations (58%) about brands are positive.
  • It was also found that boys talk more about mobile phones, games, and cars, whereas girls talk more about beauty and chocolate.
  • Generation Z is contributing about $830 billion to U.S. retail sales each year.
  • Findings illustrate how this cohort, more so than older generations, enjoy interacting with brands on social media and lets brands drive their purchases.


  • One of the key points of conversation engagement that was found was peer to peer base or trusted sources.
  • Another key point identified was trust, consumers enjoy knowing more about the brand.
  • Marketers tend to miss this and they usually put their efforts on product features and benefits, which does not have a direct correlation with consumer trust.
  • Consumers also need information about an adviser’s decision criteria and brand usage.
  • A recent example can be observed in the new engagement strategy of Sephora.
  • Additionally, 60% of teens follow advice from influencers over celebrities.
  • This is because influencers tend to have stronger ties with fans and they have a more engaged audience.
  • Additionally, they gain three times as many views, and twice as many actions.
  • Furthermore, their content gain 12 times as many comments compared to videos from traditional celebrities.
  • A recent poll shows that 52% of millennials, 28% of X-Gens, and only 9% of BabyBoomers purchased a sweet treat so that they could post a picture of it on social media.


  • 96% of the people that discuss various brands online do not necessarily follow the brands’ owned profiles.
  • Moreover, visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.
  • Generation Z is moving away from Facebook and are now more engaged in visual-based platforms.
  • Top brands on Instagram see a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21%, which is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter.
  • Nielsen research shows that 83% of people “completely or somewhat trust” word-of-mouth recommendations from people they know, and 66% completely or somewhat trust online consumer product opinions (word-of-mouth recommendations from strangers).
  • This in comparison of the 43% who say the same about ads on mobile phones.
  • Posts tagged with another user (56%) or location (79%) have significantly higher engagement rates.


  • It was found that social networks are the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases.
  • 37% of consumers finding purchase inspiration social media.
  • Surveyed consumers that indicated they were more likely to purchase after seeing more images from consumers who had previously bought the retail product, showing it in real life are as follows: 18-24 years old (60%), 25-34 years old (64%), 35-44 years old (57%), 45-54 years old (42%), and 55-65 years old (43%).
  • Recently Instagram expanded its Shopping tool and unveiled Shoppable Instagram stories.
  • Snapchat also expanded its e-commerce offerings by allowing shopping within Snapchat Stories, which shows the recognition of the target market and their influential structure.
  • The move to visual contact evidence we saw in the transition in the industry as in the examples of Pheed and We Heart It, which were launched to provide a solution for this trend.



  • Instagram: 13-17 years old (72%),18-29 years old (64%),30-49 years old (40%), 50-64 years old (21%), 65+ years old (10%).
  • Twitter: 13-17 years old (32%),18-29 years old (40%), 30-49 years old (27%), 50-64 years old (19%), 65+ years old (8%).
  • Linkedin: 18-29 years old (29%), 30-49 years old (33%), 50-64 years old (24%), 65+ years old (9%).
  • Pinterest: 18-29 years old (34%),30-49 years old (34%), 50-64 years old (26%), 65+ years old (16%).
  • Snapchat: 13-17 years old (69%), 18-29 years old (68%), 30-49 years old (26%), 50-64 years old (10%), 65+ years old (3%).
  • Facebook: 13-17 years old (88%), 18-29 years old (84%), 30-49 years old (72%), 50-64 years old (62%), 65+ years old (62%).

Research Strategy

We started our search by find in evidence from social media reports and segmentation to understand the activity patterns of teens ages 12-17 compared to other cohorts when it comes to brand recommendations on social media. During the research, we found that there is very little information focusing on this specific group and most of the information deals with millennials and older age groups. We assume that the lack of information is due to the vast interest the industry had in the transitional generations thus far. That being said, we did notice the industry and companies begin to realize that they are facing a new generation that requires adaptations, as we referred to in the case of Sephora, Pheed, and We Heart It.
Furthermore, we understood that the social media market is dynamic and it changes rapidly, so we went further and combed the web in search of any relevant information about the given topic. We recognized that the key points to understanding this market are the volume and presence of different age groups on social media, engagement partners, and forms. Though we had to expand the range of ages to cover the common definitions of the different generations, we find that in some statistics, it would be safe to assume that late millennials fall in similar behavior as the 12-17 age group, because the two groups are behavior drivers, and it can be found in various social media-based engagement platforms.

An additional point we identified and is crucial for understanding the difference between the groups’ patterns of engagement is that the transition of the younger generations to image based platforms raised questions regarding what is considered a recommendation, both in verbal aspects and in non-literal communication. We assume that as the industry realizes this fact, and that the nonverbal channel will bring new challenges for advertisers and companies, making sure that images often speak for themselves. This is backed by from our findings that discussed that some marketers focus on product features and benefits, while others address the functionality of the product. As we found, if a product involves application process or activation process, it should be addressed.

As to conversations referring to candy brands, we were able to find poll results on the subject which demonstrate the number of times different brands were mentioned on the social media, which gives a perspective on the coverage and mentions of the candy industry in the social media.