Brands that want to appeal to teens with disposable income might want to remember that life is a popularity contest among these consumers, and brands must operate by the same rules. Research relayed by eMarketer reveals that social recommendations influence purchase decisions for teens and their parents.
According to a Harris study referenced by the source, 38 percent of consumers between the ages of eight and 18 ask their friends what they think of products or services before buying. While the source doesn't indicate whether teens ask friends in person or turn to social sites, it's clear that social perceptions of a brand online are key to purchase decisions – 27 percent of these young consumers (and 40 percent of those between 13 and 18) go online to read reviews and Tweets to discover what people think about merchandise.
It seems the need for friends' advocacy is shared by teens' parents – at least for tech purchases. EMarketer also relays information from Mintel that suggests 38 percent of parents solicit the opinions of friends and colleagues before buying electronics, and 15 percent ask for their kids' opinions. Plus, more than one in 10 (11 percent) say they sign on to social media sites, including Facebook, specifically to review or solicit opinions about products.
With this in mind, marketers should remember to offer social followers content that will act as Like-bait in order to generate positive buzz about their brands. Facebook's sharing volume has grown from 33 percent in 2009 to 44 percent in 2010, according to an infographic from AddThis relayed by Mashable.