Peers are their most influential source for new trends
Teen girls spend a significant amount of their media time online. While texting and listening to music take up a bit more time each day, according to July 2010 research from Varsity, nearly a quarter of girls ages 13 to 18 spend at least 3 hours a day online, and another 37% are on the web for an hour or two daily.
And what teen girls are doing online is no surprise: 61% reported going to Facebook multiple times a day. About a third of respondents said they socialized with friends online for at least an hour every day.
Friends and peers are an important part of teen girls’ experience, and the study found they were the first place respondents turned for advice about buying apparel. Friends were the top source of new trend information and also the most influential when it came to making purchase decisions, making the social aspect of shopping key for this demographic.
Teen girls also reported they gave advice about a variety of products to friends and family members, with at least two-thirds recommending they buy apparel, books, entertainment items and makeup.
With teen girls getting and giving advice at high rates, and wielding large influence over their peer groups, marketers must gain the trust of young people to act as brand advocates on their behalf—especially on social sites, where girls are spending so much of their time.
This could mean finding girls who already have a strong online presence, such as those who post “haul” videos to YouTube (the second-biggest social site among teen girls, according to the survey) and developing a relationship, or creating offerings to help teen girls shop together online by sharing the outfits they put together socially.
And it will also mean avoiding the hot buttons that annoy teens: push marketing and, above all, treating them like children.
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Check out today’s other article, “Bright Picture for US Online Holiday Sales.”