Posted November 14, 2011 5:53 pm by with 0 comments

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The Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 16% of online teens used Twitter in the month of July. Not a very big number, but it’s doubled since 2009.

Much of the rise is due to the fact that kids are now growing up with social media. I’d bet that there are more birth announcements on Facebook than in every hometown newspaper combined.

The other reason for the jump, is the ease of access. 75% of teens between the ages of 13 and 17 have mobile phones and one in three sends more than 100 text messages a day. Since a Tweet is nothing more than a public text message, it’s no wonder Twitter is on the rise.

In addition to age, gender is a big factor in Twitter usage. According to eMarketer, teen girls are twice as likely to Tweet as their male counterparts. This goes along with the Pew study numbers that show girls getting and sending an average of 80 text messages a day while boys land around 30.

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Still, it’s Facebook that rules for teens and tweens. eMarketer says that 59% of teens only have one social media account and 89% of them go with Facebook. Ah, remember the day when that number would have been Myspace?

Overall, 81% of tweens are using some kind of social media. The number pops up to 90% when you go up to the 18 to 24 bracket. Older teens are also more active in every social media area except one – gaming.

Even for young teens, gaming isn’t the powerhouse you’d expect it to be.

As you can see from the chart, teens mostly use social media to stay connected with friends.

Marketers Beware

If your company markets a product of interest to teens, this may sound like great news. But marketing to teens through social media can be tricky. Security and privacy are primary concerns, ones a marketer should take seriously even though networks often break the rules.

The bigger issue is that tweens and teens are more perceptive than people think. They can spot a phony in a second and they won’t hesitate to call you on it. Don’t lie to them. Don’t tell them what’s popular and don’t ever assume you know more than they do. It’s their world and they’ll kick you out in a second if you don’t play by their rules.