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Kyle Reyes

Kyle Reyes President, CEO

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We Interviewed Teenagers About Social Media. This Is What We Learned.

It’s a question I get asked time and time again by everyone from owners of car dealerships to the CEO’s of Fortune 100 companies.

“What’s the next big thing in marketing?”

What if I told you that in a recent focus group, we learned that what may be the next “big thing” in marketing…has already happened?

You’re probably thinking about Pokemon. That’s a fair assumption, given the recent reincarnation from the Gameboy graveyard.

But that’s not what I’m referring to.

I’m talking about Twitter.

To Learn, Listen

Let me start by giving you some insight as to how we’ve been so massively successful as a marketing agency.

We follow the eyeballs … and we start with the kids. I’ll explain to you why.

It all started with my first cellphone.

It was back in the 90’s and our family plan had something like five text messages a month. Remember those days?

One afternoon, my mother called me on my cell and I ignore her call and responded with a text – “what’s up?”

Her response? “When your parents call you – you pick up the phone.”

“Ok. Cya at 5.”

My parents raised hell. Not long after, they were also texting.

Look at where we are today. I have family friends in their 70’s and 80’s texting me (granted IT’S IN ALL CAPS AND A PAGE LONG FOR EACH TEXT MESSAGE). But you get the point.

The Eyeballs Moved To Social

How about Facebook? Started out with college students. The parents followed.

The demographics have shifted. A May 2015 study found that 73% of people 30-49 are on the platform, 63% of those 50-64 and 56% of those 65+.

Then the kids went to Twitter. The parents followed.

So the students went to Instagram. And the parents followed. The fastest growing demographic on Instagram? 40-60.

So much for your “my demographic isn’t on social” card.

Then what? Snapchat. Hundreds of millions of users. We’ll end up spending millions of dollars on Snapchat marketing initiatives, because it’s where so many eyeballs are.

What We Learned From Our Focus Group

From time to time, we’ll put together various focus groups of various demographics for clients or for our own research.

Last week, we brought a group of teenagers together at the local Dave and Buster’s. The goal? To get in their heads.

We spent an afternoon pigging out on junk food and chatting marketing before we handed them gaming cards and let them run wild.

It wasn’t long before a couple of my suspicions were validated.

None of the kids had Facebook. And they’re all extremely aggressive on Snapchat and Instagram.

But the hot “new” social platform that they’re all flocking to? It’s not, After School, Peach or any of the others we’ve been following.

It’s Twitter.

The main reason?

It gives them access to people and businesses that you wouldn’t normally have access to and it’s easier to cut through the noise.

Go. Freaking. Figure. What’s not really that old is apparently new again.

The Verdict

Before you all go invest in Twitter advertising (which I am NOT recommending you do – yet), take a step back and breath. Social media – any platform – is only as good as your ability to innovate and provide tremendous amounts of value to your followers.

It's time to start marketing like it's 2016.

I want to know about you and your companies. Which platforms are you on? Where are you finding your customers?

Do share…I think everyone can benefit from your perspective!


Kyle Reyes is President and CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing. He's also an acclaimed Keynote Speaker on entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and social media. You can find him on Facebook, LinkedIn and of course on Snapchat @dasilentpartner.

Kelsey Kruzel

This is great! I've always informally quizzed my younger siblings and cousins to see what networks they're on, and positioned my social media marketing plans to incorporate some of those insights. From a B2C perspective, taking their habits into account is huge, but I've found that those trends don't translate as well to the B2B market. 

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