How can the importance of social media in Millennials and teens’ lives be stated? When we surveyed 13-33 year olds for our quarterly Social Media Tracker, only 2% say they don’t use any social platform. Millennials reportedly spend 11 hours and 26 minutes with smartphones daily, and our research shows that messaging and social networking are the two activities they are doing the most on mobile during that significant amount of time. Teens are even more likely than older Millennials to use their phones for social networking. According to our recent monthly survey delving into social media behavior, four in ten 13-33 year olds admit they are addicted to social media.
So we don’t need to tell brands it’s important to understand the role that social media plays in young consumers’ lives—but we can keep you constantly up to date on its impacts and implications. Here are five new stats on Millennials and teens social media behavior and preferences right now:
1. Half of 18-33 year olds say getting likes on social media gives them a rush.
There’s a reason so many feel addicted. Young consumers are often criticized for their compulsive social media use and over-sharing, but that social use can make them feel really good. Social sharing actually releases a higher dose of “feel-good hormone” oxytocin than in-person interactions—and 50% of 18-33 year olds say getting likes gives them a rush. A lot of attention is paid to the negative side of social media, but when we surveyed Millennials and teens, 50% of 13-33 year olds, and 70% of 13-33 year olds also said that social media makes them feel better about themselves, versus 28% of 13-33 year olds and 18% of 13-17 year olds who say it makes them feel bad about themselves.
2. Teens start using a social network less once their parents join.
Sixty-six percent of 13-17 year olds say they start using a social network less once their parents join, versus 35% of 18-33 year olds. Of course, teens throughout generations have wanted to have safe spaces away from their parents, and generally prioritize time with peers over time with family—but this generation of teens has another layer of reasons that they might want to use different platforms from their parents. This is the first generation to have their childhood digitally documented—from first sonogram on—and those postings can come back to haunt them. No wonder they’re less interested in platforms once mom and dad join them; they’re eager to avoid embarrassment. In fact, one of Snapchat’s original goals was to make a platform that "confuses the olds" to keep teens “safe” from parents.
3. Four in ten Millennials and teens have posted about a brand on social media.
While young consumers can be sensitive at times about how brands invade their social media spaces, the majority tell us that they have friended or followed a brand on social media, and we know their favorites to follow. But perhaps even more importantly, 39% of 13-33 year olds say they have posted about a brand on social media. Since they are more likely to listen to their peers’ opinions on brands than any other source, this social sharing is vital. When we ask what they’ve posted about brands, 49% say a positive message about an experience—more than any other kind of post. That’s compared to 22% who have shared a negative message about an experience. They’re also posting about brands when sharing their purchases: 46% something they bought.