Growing Up Mobile: How Brands on Facebook Can Reach Younger Users

By David Cohen 

CrowdDNABanner650People in the 13-through-24 age group are optimistic, want to learn about other countries and cultures, forward-looking, value friends and family, and use social media to stay in touch with those friends and family, according to a study by culture experts Crowd DNA, commissioned by Facebook.

Crowd DNA surveyed 11,000 people between the ages of 13 and 24 in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Norway, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S., conducting 165 qualitative interviews. Facebook introduced the study’s findings in a post on the Facebook for Business page:

So much of growing up is timeless. But what is it like to come of age in a world of constant connectivity? And what does this mean for brands that want to communicate with people growing up today?

At Facebook, we wanted to help our clients understand how people are growing up with a mobile phone in hand, a laptop at arm’s reach and the ability to stay constantly connected with family and friends — near and far.

What the study found is that universal truths of growing up remain the same, but where they play out has changed.

Before the Internet and mobile were widespread, young people passed notes in class. Now they text. Teenagers used to plaster their lockers with photos that represented them. Now this happens on Facebook and Instagram. At one point, the landline was the lifeline. Today it is the mobile phone.

Findings by Crowd DNA included:

  • 58 percent of respondents described themselves as optimistic, with that number rising to 64 percent for those aged 13 through 15. Germany had the highest percentage of optimistic respondents, at 69 percent, while the lowest figure came from the U.S., 59 percent.
  • 72 percent of respondents said they try to see the positives in every situation, with that number jumping to 92 percent in Indonesia.
  • 75 percent said they want to learn about other countries and cultures, and 59 percent were concerned about global issues, with Indonesia again leading the way, at 80 percent.
  • 61 percent said they are thinking about building up their savings.
  • 84 percent said they want to work hard to accomplish their goals in life, with that figure rising to 96 percent in Indonesia and 91 percent in Brazil.
  • 73 percent said their lives revolve around friends and family, and 67 percent are content with their social lives.
  • 74 percent said that social media helps them stay up to date with friends and family, and 66 percent believe social media makes them feel more up to date with the world.


How can brands take advantage of these findings? Facebook wrote in the Facebook for Business post:

It’s important to approach youth with empathy and recognize the ways in which young people today are the same as previous generations. Coming of age is a period of growth, change and possibility. And much of this activity now plays out online. It’s important for your brand to find a role in helping young people in this transition. Develop content and campaigns that position your brand as a source of information, inspiration or validation.

Consider sharing stories of people who have defied the odds with their talent, innovation and entrepreneurship. Explore content and campaigns that empower this group to reach their own aspirations. And consider how your brand’s mission and products may align with encouraging this incredible optimism.

Readers: What did you think of Crowd DNA’s findings?