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Teen Vogue says the future belongs to Instagram


Teen VogueInstagram just crossed the 200 million monthly active user mark. That’s 20 billion photos shared with an average of 60 million photos per day. Personally, I can’t see the allure of this image blasting app but my son swears by it and so do the girls of Teen Vogue.

The magazine asked 1,000 members of their “It Girl” community about how they use social media and how it affects the way they shop. The sampling was made up of all US women between the ages of 13 and 29.

Across the board, one word kept popping up again and again – Instagram. Teens labeled it the number one platform for inspiring purchases.

“If you had to pick just one social network to use, what would it be?”
#1: Instagram 

“What is the social network you’ll be talking about in the coming year?”
#1: Instagram

It might be the star, but Instagram is only part of the story. 85% of the girls in the survey said they were driven to purchase something after seeing it on a social media network. Social showrooming is huge in this demographic and they don’t just see it, say I want it and buy it. These kids do their homework.

Teen Vogue readers said they often use social media to comparison shop before clicking the buy button.

By platform, top behaviors include the following:

  • Find additional product images: Pinterest (48%)
  • Read reviews and recommendations: YouTube (43%)
  • Seek out sales/deals: Facebook (36%)

52% of teens said they turn to YouTube to look for videos that show how to wear new styles and apply beauty products. If you’re not a teen girl, search the word “haul” on YouTube and stand back. Everyday, women (and a few men) of all ages post videos showing everything they bought from the thrift store to drug store to top online retailers. A search for “nail tutorials” netted about 836,000 results. And these aren’t all kids trying out nail colors in front of the camera. Some are professional productions with thousands of regular viewers ($ $ $ $ ).

Shop Facebook?

The concept of shopping from your social network feed is one that keeps coming and going. The tools are there but no one has been able to make them work on a consistent basis. Still, 26% of the Teen Vogue readers say they’ve made a purchase directly from a social network and 47% said they’d like to have the ability to buy from their network feed.

Teens have money to spend and they’re willing to spend it on your products if you just give them a little more information.

When asked what they would like to see more of from fashion and beauty brands on social media:

  • 81% said more product sampling
  • 65% said “Tell me where the closest store is to buy the product I’m looking at”
  • 56% said “Post more looks and products that make sense for where I live”

The good news is, all of these are doable. Product samples might be the toughest from a cost and manpower standpoint. For store locations, you have geolocation through mobile apps or use Facebook location targeting to promote stores in specific areas.

The last request is really interesting. The fashion world works on a seasonal cycle that’s purely calendar based. It might be snowing in New Jersey today but it’s all shorts and t-shirts in store and online. I heard a pro eBay seller this week say how she’s making a killing in winter coats because they aren’t available in retail stores anymore and people still need them.

Might be worth spending time creating assets for not only different US regional locations but global locations, too.