A lot has happened in the teen world since we last presented the DOLLY Youth Monitor back in 2011. And, being the early adapters that they are – let’s remember what they’re doing now, we’ll be doing in 12 months’ time – they’ve also busily been transforming our world as well, whether that’s introducing us to bands like One Direction or leading the charge with new social media platforms like Instagram, Keek and many more.
Many of the pressures teens face are age old – changing bodies, bullying, school stress, friendships, boys and parents. But what is changing is that a lot of these pressures are taking place in a new, and fast evolving, world.
While social media has been around for a while, it is having an increasingly large impact on teen girls in particular – we look into the role that your brand can play in this new digital world and how you can communicate more effectively with the teen audience in this space.
Even with all these personal and social pressures, teens still want to make a better world – and not just for themselves, but for others too. They’re incredibly concerned about the environment, and also about social reforms like gay marriage and immigration. eight in 10 teens believe that gay marriage should be legal and 95% say they are accepting of other cultures. 81% would like to volunteer their time to help those in need. Now that’s not entirely altruistic – being charitable also adds to their brand charter – it makes THEM look good.
Something that is very different about teens today is that they are each a brand in and of themselves. They are very aware that they are managing ‘brand ME’: 91% of them say that what they put on Facebook is a reflection of themselves. 56% only post updates or photos that are exciting – not every day pics. And a third of them say there’s no point in posting something at all if it doesn’t get a “like.”
However, while it might seem like they’re chained to the internet; these girls have a rich life outside the virtual world. 60% of them prefer to communicate offline more than online and DOLLY readers have told us that they still prefer to read a physical magazine, rather than downloading one online – it’s still a sensory medium for them.