Tweens, Teens, and the social networking scene

I recently completed the 2008 Bateman Case Study Competition, hosted by PRSSA. It was a great opportunity as the campaign sought to increase awareness of seat belt safety amongst those aged 11-14, most notably known as, tweens. After doing some research, I found that this age group was also referred to as the “neo-babyboomers.” This age group has sky-rocketed in their use of commercial products and their economic societal role. More importantly however, I found that this age group was smart, savvy, and hard to influence. These tweens look for catchy and sticky advertising campaigns and don’t sway to traditional media. Conducting this campaign, I knew it would be extremely difficult to make seat belt safety seem “cool” and more importantly, relateable. I spoke to a PR professional regarding on the most successful ways to target this young and extremely knowledgeable demographic. Here were her suggestions: 

  • Utilize online social networking! We used sites such asMyspace, Youtube, Imbee to target these tweens. After conducting surveys, we found that they use the Internet on a daily basis and conduct most of their social planning through IMs, chatrooms, and social networking sites.
  • *Interesting side note: MySpace has an age restriction, but as we found through our campaign, most of our campaign targets that used MySpace were under 14!
  • When utilizing social networking sites, be sure to make the layout catchy and enticing. Research commonly-used teen lingo and include those words throughout the site. A good example I found was the Stevie’s girl campaign from Steve Madden.
  • Utilize brand loyalists to serve as your campaign ambassadors. If you can find someone from this demographic that frequently uses your service, product, or enjoys your organization, use them! Tweens and teens are extremely influenced by their social peers and through word-of-mouth marketing techniques. Find a student ambassador to distribute flyers, promotional materials, and will serve as your spokesperson throughout the campaign.

To validate my thoughts on the tween social networking scene, check out Miley Cyrus’ videoblog on YouTube. She’s received more than a million view counts, majority of them being young teenagers! Since the creation of the “Miley and Mandy Show” on YouTube, she’s received a ton of coverage and has been featured all over the Internet. The Miley And Mandy Show


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