5 tips teens can teach your brand about social media success.

Abigail McGrath 11/01/17 - 5:22 pm

Teens are the true CEOs of social media. They decide the rules, they set the trends and they have the power to turn Average Joes into stars overnight.

The young generation that was born into the social media revolution now seems to hold all the cards–whether they mean to or not. With nothing more than an iPhone and some creativity, they’ve been able to outdo brands with million-dollar marketing budgets and even turn social media into careers.

But the question remains: what do teens know that brands don’t? How are these young minds able to outperform even the savviest social media teams? 

Take note of these five tips from teens:

1.   Quality followers can be better than quantity

While brands or products with large followings certainly gain credibility with consumers, the sheer number of followers your brand has isn’t the only thing that matters. In fact, sometimes having a collection of quality followers who will like, comment and share your content could work harder for your business and your bottom line.

When “Damn Daniel” videos became an internet sensation for example, it wasn’t because hundreds of thousands of people followed the high school pair’s content. It was because their tight-knit group of followers engaged with the content at unprecedented levels and shared it with their friends (who shared it with their friends, and so on).

In the same way, brands should strive to attract quality followers who are actively interested in their content and will positively react to it.

2.   A little appreciation goes a long way

How often do you engage with your audience on social media? How frequently do you thank them for following you? Teens–especially social media influencers–make a habit of it. And followers love it.

For brands, showing appreciation doesn’t mean writing sappy or emotional posts once a month. But making small gestures of gratitude, such as liking comments and responding to individuals in the comments section, could do a lot for the favorability of your brand.

3.   Stay ahead of the curve

When new social media trends hit the scene, teens are typically the first ones to jump on board. Understandably, brands often lag behind–either for lack of knowing about the new trend, or for fearing of trying it. But in the amount of time it takes for brands to get up to speed, the trend could be long gone or wildly overused.

While your brand doesn’t have to be quite as daring as teens are, you should at least keep an open mind. Try a trend right when you see it (as long as it aligns with your brand and your voice). Explore a new platform, use popular buzzwords or be the first among your competitors to give a trend a go.

4.   Learn to collaborate

One of the secrets teens use to grow their accounts is collaborating with their friends and other popular influencers. The reason these partnerships are so successful is that teens aren’t collaborating simply to gain followers–they’re collaborating in order to create unique content and have fun.

Brands, too, have benefited from these collaborations. Companies like GoPro & Red Bull, BMW & Louis Vuitton, and McDonald’s & Hello Kitty have leveraged the power of collaboration to generate publicity and increase favorability among their respective brands.

Whether it’s with another company, an individual or a nonprofit, well-executed collaborations could do your brand a world of good. Hint: joint live streams and giveaways are great places to start.  

5.   Don’t go dark

One of the most important social media lessons you can learn from teens is to post frequently and consistently across all channels. The majority of top teen accounts post at least once a day, and even those who don’t are expected to post great content on a regular basis. While it’s important to find a balance for your brand, the lesson here is not to go dark. Posting content regularly will create repeat visitors, and repeat visitors will help your social media presence thrive.

The next time you post, keep these tips in mind and don’t overthink. Few teenagers do, and their content consistently reigns supreme.

Looking for more tips to enhance your brand’s social channels? Download our free Social Media Guide.

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