The Pew Internet and American Life Project has done their usual stellar job of giving insight into the online social life of teens in their study “Teens Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites“. If you are a parent you will want to look at the study and get a glimpse into the world of the social teen.
As a marketer though one of the first charts that should catch your eye is the one showing the social media homes of teens and adults alike. Nothing new here really but when you see the numbers you can’t help but wonder if Facebook isn’t the most influential part of many lives these days.
This data was gathered in August of 2011 so Google+ had barely been birthed. It’s likely better that it didn’t show up in the chart because it may have measured a statistical goose egg for both teens and adults.
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Here is the thing to be thinking about from a marketing perspective. While people do change as they get older, many of the habits that they have formed by their early teen years remain intact in some fashion well into adulthood, if not for an entire lifetime. Why else do you think psychiatrists have such great businesses?
Based on this basic fact of life, kids are simply making Facebook a part of their life. It’s not an add on but rather it’s a requirement for many. As a result, the next 10-20 years of the Internet marketing space is going to be one of even more rapid change than may even fathom at this time.
Are you and your company’s marketing efforts ready for such an intense paradigm shift or is that too far off to even consider? Ever find yourself saying “Gee, I can’t believe how fast the time has gone!”? Where you don’t want to find yourself one day is wondering where the time went and finding that your marketing efforts haven’t kept pace. That will be a bad day for sure.