The “Facebook Factor”—What You Need to Know About Youth Social Media Marketing

It's been more than a year since Forrester published its original Facebook factor report, which quantified the impact of a Facebook fan on brand interactions for US online adults, and social media has only become a bigger part of consumers’ online experience. Social media is engrained in the lives of US consumers, and we found this to also be true for US youth. Our latest report, “The Facebook Factor: US Online Youth” answers the question, “How much more likely are youth Facebook fans to purchase, consider, and recommend brands than non-fans?” We also analyzed youth engagement with brands on other social networking sites like Twitter and Google+. As in the original report, we used logistic regression modeling to uncover the effect of Facebook fans or Twitter followers on brands for the youth market.

In the report, we analyzed the “Facebook factor” for four brands that are popular with youth: Converse, Disney, iTunes, and Starbucks. We found that US online youth who engage with these brands on social media are much more likely to have made a purchase from, consider, and recommend each of these brands than non-engagers.

As the graphic below shows, US online youth who engage with Disney on social media are significantly more likely to have made a purchase from, consider, and recommend the brand than their peers who don't engage with it. Our youth data and models also reveal that Disney Facebook fans are the most likely to consider making a future purchase of a Disney product or service, while Disney Twitter followers are the most likely to have made a past purchase.

 

But there’s a lot more to engaging with youth via social media than just having a Facebook page or Twitter following. The youth market is unique for many reasons: These young people grew up with social media; they depend on their parents for their spending; and they’re incredibly connected. They also have a completely different set of expectations when it comes to social media marketing. To get more insight and data, clients can read the full report here.