The recent survey found that social media use trends across Europe are steadily increasing. In the UK, for example, 88 per cent of those surveyed in the 13-16-year-old age range admitted to using social networks on a regular basis.
These surfing habits should be a clear indication to brand marketers that they can appeal to younger audiences with ease through social networks. As smartphones and wireless Internet access have become the norm, the ability to access social networks has become increasingly easier. With this ease of use, teenagers are likely to access the networks at school or in social situations, and as such will be encouraging their friends to join the same networks and follow both them as well as similar pages and profiles.
Such popularity of social networks should indicate to brand marketers the potential opportunities of utilising social networks to attract a wider, younger audience. Clearly a greater deal of Internet users will look to communicate with their friends through social networks, spending more time on them as they become more readily available. As teenagers look to do this, brands need to create more inventive methods of attracting fans and encouraging them to interact with the brand. With social media games proving so popular, this is a great opportunity to appeal to a new audience in a method that is pleasing to them. The creation of dedicated brand pages should be the first step to increasing online engagement, after which the brand can look towards the likes of online games and entertainment channels to maintain user interest.
Pete Goold, Managing Director of Punch Communications, said: The advent of built-in social network games, such as FarmVille, illustrates great means of attracting audiences back to a social network, and as such back to a brands presence on the network, and marketers can use such examples of popularity to great effect to help improve their brands appeal. With further teenage audiences turning to social networks to communicate with friends and for entertainment purposes, brands should consider the implementation of such games to help increase engagement.