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Divided Youth?
 

Divided Youth?

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Our presentation at Haymarket's Youth Marketing Conference focused on the difference in social media behaviours between teens and mid-twenties. By exploring 3 key issues - posting/accelerated ...

Our presentation at Haymarket's Youth Marketing Conference focused on the difference in social media behaviours between teens and mid-twenties. By exploring 3 key issues - posting/accelerated nostalgia and tuition fee's we explore if social media is causing new divisions or just providing more readily accessible evidence of those which have always existed.

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  • Thank you very much.Just a sentence firstly to introduce Precise, for those of you who do not know us. Precise is a business information group that provides monitoring, analysis and research services, using editorial, broadcast and social media as our source material. I look after our Brand Insight team. We use social media to perform consumer research. Today, I’d like to spend some time making the case for why social media is a fantastic source of consumer insight - and not just to inform social media marketing, but actually to help inform almost any brand development, campaign or innovation activity.
  • To help make that case, I’m going to briefly make some observations as to whether there are signs that social media is stimulating the emergence of greater differences between young people at either end of our age spectrum today, or whether social media is merely reflecting and evidencing differences that might always have existed. I’ll then move on to use social media research to take a look at whether the issue of tuition fees might be accentuating these differences, and whether or not this is creating a more sharply divided youth.
  • I’d like to open up by offering up some thoughts on how we can move on from social data to social insight.The first challenge we need to overcome when we use social content as a source of insight, is that there can be vast volumes of it to grapple with.
  • So the big challenge with using social media as a source of insight – and the first hurdle at which it is possible to fall – is that there is an unfathomably huge volume of content being created and shared across the social web, every single day, and not least – though not only - by youth. This can make making sense of all of that unstructured data rather daunting,
  • Social media monitoring tools provide the only means to navigate such great swathes of data, but too often, the outputs they produce are just more data, arranged in a pattern but with no recognisably useful application.Actually, within all this data lies opinions, perceptions, needs and attitudes, expressed by young people spontaneously, in real time, and on the record. When we use social content like survey or qualitative research content, and when we employ consumer researchers to read, analyse, and draw insight from it it, then we can use it to help us better understand the opinions and attitudes of youth.
  • Social media monitoring tools provide the only means to navigate such great swathes of data, but too often, the outputs they produce are just more data, arranged in a pattern but with no recognisably useful application.Actually, within all this data lies opinions, perceptions, needs and attitudes, expressed by young people spontaneously, in real time, and on the record. When we use social content like survey or qualitative research content, and when we employ consumer researchers to read, analyse, and draw insight from it it, then we can use it to help us better understand the opinions and attitudes of youth.
  • Because at the end of the day, using social media content for research purposes is much like using any other kind of more structured, formal survey data.At the end of a focus group project, as a researcher, you sit down and read the transcripts. A more quantitative, survey based approach will result in a set of responses that are coded. We can apply exactly the same techniques to the analysis of social content. And likewise, we can apply the same definitions of what an insight is.
  • So let’s now move on to use social media content both in a more qualitative way and in a more analytical, quantitative way, to take a view on whether the opposite ends of our age range – late teens and late twenties – are a youth divided.
  • We do see differences between the social content produced by teens versus those in their late twenties. In fact, there are three broad, general differences that we would call out.
  • For many teenagers, the number of times they’ve tweeted is regarded as more of a badge of honour than the number of followers they’ve acquired.
  • This means that teenagers are more likely to tweet about everyday experiences and tend to be unconcerned with producing a professional brand identity in a public setting.
  • Teenagers are more likely than adults to use Twitter to engage in genuine conversations, whereas adults might email, text, talk and therefore reserve Twitter for a slightly different use – for reasons of habit, preference, and money – it’s cheaper to talk on Twitter.
  • For adults, the number of followers they’ve acquired is the key means of measuring their success
  • Adults are more guarded about online privacy and are more aware of the digital trace they leave behind. Partially because of this, and partially because the motivation to acquire followers rather than accumulate tweets, adults are far more likely to carefully curate and project an idealised version of themselves. Whilst many adults would never think about it in these terms, they are effectively filtering the content they share and produce based on an articulation of their own brand.In this example, you can see how the tweet carefully projects the individual as having a work / life balance, with the comment about the concert bookended by comments about work, the final statement being the most positive. For adults in their role as parents, projecting the image of being ‘on top of it’ is an important motivation to post and an important filter for what they post, a virtual extension of the way they present at the school gates.
  • While teenagers are more likely to use Twitter to engage in genuine conversations, adults generally use it as tool through which to broadcast their opinions to as large an audience as possible. This is linked to that motivation around curating and creating content that is supportive of an adult’s own personal brand, and reflects the fact that adults might be using other communication platforms to hold conversations.
  • While there are distinct behaviours and motivations, is the greater discretion exercised by “older youth” so new or surprising? Is youth really more divided, or is it just that social media provides more accessible evidence of the differences that do exist?The truth, as ever, probably lies somewhere in-between.However, there is one mindset difference we are seeing that might be directly attributable to “younger youth” growing up in a social world in a way that “older youth” have not.
  • In a lot of the research that we conduct, we see “young youth” expressing a nostalgia for the recent past – for relationships, events, experiences, brands and technologies. It might be that this youthful nostalgia has always been present and that social media is evidencing it. Or, we might hypothesise that social media is contributing to it.
  • This is not about “tweenage”, it’s about being nostalgic for your teens while you’re still in your teens! A sense of “accelerated nostalgia”.
  • It looks to us that “young youth” - who have grown up with social media - see their own lives and those of their peers documented and timelined as never before, and much more so than “older youth” did?
  • So what about an issue that we might think likely to accentuate the divisions we see? Do we see evidence that the increase in tuition fees is contributing to a mindset difference between “young youth” and “older youth”? Are younger youth angrier, more political?
  • This analysis is based on conversations around tuition fees from mid-April to mid-July this year. We are not only looking at conversations taking place between youths here, we are looking at all conversations taking place within social media. And, it must be said, tuition fees is not an issue that appears to especially preoccupy the young. It is a highly politicised issue, and many of those discussing it are older and would not, at least not directly, be affected by it. Indeed, many of those discussing tuition fees appear to be the parents of teenagers. To this extent, we might suggest that tuition fees – the repayment of which is hardly a tangible prospect for most teenagers – is not driving a difference in mindset between “young youth” and “older youth”. However, we can see that one particular topic of conversation – “affecting decisions” – is especially likely to be generated by young people. And when we look into that topic, we do find anger – most of the posts contain a negative viewpoint in relation to tuition fees – but we also find a good deal of pragmatism.
  • In particular, we are seeing evidence of the emergence of a hard-headed weighing up of what the best institution and course is based on ROI. Idealistic dreams of student life appear to have receded into the distance. If there is a difference in mindset between those in their twenties and those in their teens being driven by the increase in tuition fees, it appears to be that “young youth” are a pragmatic bunch, who are taking something of an outcomes-driven approach to making big decisions. We don’t – yet – see evidence that youth is any more sharply divided than that around this issue.
  • I’d like to end by offering up some implications for those of us looking to market to youth.
  • Firstly, it is clear that differences do exist between “young” youth and older youth. Some of these are obvious, for example “young youth” being less concerned about professional reputation. Others are perhaps less obvious, but potentially useful to know – feeding older youth with content that complements their desired image, for example, versus offering younger youth “tweet fuel”.
  • Secondly, there does appear to be evidence of an “accelerated nostalgia” amongst “young youth”. This may actually mean that some of the nostalgia marketing that works for young adults in their later twenties might work for “young youth” – though of course the experiences that invoke this nostalgia are likely to be more recent.
  • Thirdly, at least viewed through the lens of discussions about tuition fees, it appears that, whilst this is not necessarily a sharply divided youth, “young youth” is particularly likely to have an outcomes-driven mindset. We will all need to demonstrate the benefits and value our brands can bring, more so than ever before.

Divided Youth? Divided Youth? Presentation Transcript

  • Divided youth?Social insights into 16-24 yearoldsContact:Dan MilesNew Business Consultantdan.miles@precise.co.ukT. +44 (0)20 7264 4767www.precise.co.uk
  • Contents From social data to social insight Divided youth?  Accessible evidence  Accelerated nostalgia  Accentuating the divisions  Focus on tuition fees Implications for marketers2
  • From social data to socialinsight
  • There is an unfathomably huge volume of content being created and shared across the social web.Image courtesy of Roberto Verso on Flickr2
  • What happens in 60 seconds on the social web? 695,000 Facebook status updates 20,000 new posts on Tumblr 98,000 Tweets 72 hours of new video on Youtube 1,500 new blog entries 6,600 new pictures on Flickr
  • Monitoring tools provide the means to navigate such greatswathes of data…but outputs are just more data. Not insight. Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee from Flickr6
  • within all this data lies opinions, perceptions, needs and attitudes,expressed by young people spontaneously, in real time, and on therecord.
  • … and by using a unique methodology that blends data analyticswith traditional research and insight techniques, we can drawmeaningful insight from it.
  • Divided youthHow can we use social insight tobetter understand the differencesbetween teens and20somethings?
  • there are three broad, general differences in the social content produced by teens and 20somethings that we would call out Total tweets more Number of followers more important than number important than total of followers. tweets. Unrestrained reporting of Content filtered by careful everyday experiences. curation of a considered image. A place for private A platform for broadcast. conversations.Image courtesy of Andinarvaez from Flickr Image courtesy of Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints from Flickr10
  • For teens…Total tweets moreimportant than numberof followers. “4000 tweets is a big accomplishment for me”
  • For teens… Unrestrained reporting of everyday experiences. “I just had a bowl of coco pops watching #madeinchelsea to o!!!! Xxx” Image courtesy of Andinarvaez from Flickr12
  • For teens... Twitter is also a place for (often private) conversations.Image courtesy of Jenny818 from Flickr
  • By mid 20’s… Number of followers more important than total tweets. “100 followers. Woop Woop! Heres to the next 100!” Image courtesy of Striatic from Flickr27
  • By mid 20’s...Content filtered by carefulcuration of a consideredimage. “Sunday night after the football Im cooking my family a three course meal. All from scratch. #causeiwanna” Image courtesy of shannonkringen from Flickr 28
  • By mid 20’s…Twitter is a platform forbroadcast.Image courtesy of Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints from Flickr 31
  • But while there are distinctbehaviours and motivations, isthe greater discretion exercisedby “older youth” so new orsurprising? We would suggest that that social media provides more accessible evidence of the differences that have always existed. And therein lies the opportunity... Image courtesy of Erokism from Flickr
  • ...though there is one mindset difference we are seeing that might bedirectly attributable to “younger youth” growing up in a social world ina way that “older youth” have not... 18
  • Accelerated nostalgia. Image courtesy of Eyesplah from Flickr19
  • With lives documented andtimelined as never beforewe’re seeing teens expressinga nostalgia for the recent past– for relationships, events,experiences, brands andtechnologies. “I remember when I used to think j2o was beer and pretend I was drunk year 7 times was so kwl ”. Accelerated nostalgia. Image courtesy of flattop341 from Flickr20
  • Another key issueaffecting this group istuition fees. We wanted tosee if this issue was alsoaccentuating anydifferences…. Image courtesy of Magnus D from Flickr 21
  • Share of topics of conversation surrounding tuition fees Politics Scholarships and funding Sharing news General discussions Affecting decisions We have seen that General negativity teenagers don’t really engage with the more Value for money emotive and political Contributing to debt aspects of the debate in the same as the mid 20’s. Other discussions 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 Broadly Negative Broadly NeutralSource: All English language conversations mentioning “tuition fees” 15 April to 15 July 201222
  • “Would you say the education and opportunities available at Cambridge are worth the tuition fees rather than attending a Scottish university for free?” I have offers from Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, LSE, UCL, Warwick, Nottingham, Lancaster , Sheffield, Leeds, Essex. However I am considering accepting the Warwick offer because their scholarship covers tuition fees and additional living costs... After nearly a whole (academic) year at uni, I really dont think its worth the amount in tuition fees. ” Instead, the increase in tuition fees seems to be encouraging a more pragmatic, outcomes- focused “young youth”. Image courtesy of vincentdesjardins from Flickr23
  • Some implications formarketers
  • This is not a sharply divided youth, but an awareness of the differences and surprising similarities can create opportunities.Image courtesy of Shahed Salehian from Flickr25
  • Social media motivations vary across the youth age spectrum. Feed “older youth” with content that complements their desired image. Give “young youth” more “tweet fuel”.Image courtesy of Andinarvaez from Flickr Image courtesy of Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints from Flickr26
  • Teens can be nostalgic too. Tap into this nostalgia for recent technologies and experiences. Feed the desire to document. Image courtesy of DaveBleasdale from Flickr27
  • For a potentially more outcomes-driven youth, demonstrate the benefits your brand brings like never before. Image courtesy of vincentdesjardins from Flickr28
  • Thank you.