Social Media

Instagram is the best way to market to teens, says Piper Jaffray survey

Key Points
  • Teenagers and young adults prefer engaging with brands through Instagram compared to other social media accounts. 
  • According to a new survey from Piper Jaffray, 70% of respondents said they preferred Instagram for shopping.
  • The survey comes just over three weeks after Instagram updated its in-app shopping platform.
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If a brand is looking to target teenagers, it should be reaching out to them through Instagram.

People in Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, "overwhelmingly prefer" when brands contact them on Instagram rather than through other social media channels, according to a new survey from analysts at Piper Jaffray. Seventy percent of respondents said they preferred Instagram for brand engagement.

It's a strong sign for Instagram's budding shopping product, where brands can insert links to buy products that are advertised on the site. Facebook, which owns Instagram, gets a cut of the revenue.

Instagram in general is extremely popular among teens, with 90% penetration among 14-to-18-year-olds, according to the report.

Snapchat comes in second place for branding,with just under 50% of teens preferring that brands use it to reach out to them. Twitter and Facebook fared much more poorly, coming in behind email (about 38%), text messaging (about 35%), and website ads (about 30%). Only 20% of teens preferred hearing from brands on Twitter, and only about 12% preferred Facebook.

Piper Jaffray asked 8,000 teens, with the average age of 16, across the United States about their spending habits, branding preferences and behaviors. The study's results come just after Instagram rolled out its checkout option on March 19, which allows consumers to purchase products without leaving the app.

The survey comes just over half a year after Instagram first began allowing users to directly click on links to purchase items through the app.

"Shopping is more than an errand – it's also about what you discover along the way," Instagram said in a statement when it first introduced shopping through the app. "For many people on Instagram, shopping is an entertaining way to get inspired and connect with new and interesting brands."

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Key Points
  • Teenagers on average are spending $2,600 annually on food and clothes, a survey by Piper Jaffray finds.
  • Half say Amazon is their favorite website.
  • Lululemon is gaining momentum, while Adidas is slumping.