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Teen girls today are influential social connectors who seek out information about brands from a wide range of sources and share that information frequently in their social circles, using a mix of face-to-face interaction and social mediaaccording to a study by Varsity Brands and the Ketchum Global Research Network.

Friendships play a big role in girls' purchasing decisions: 77% of surveyed teen girls say they are influenced by the purchases of their friends and 73% of girls who like a brand will recommend it to their friends.

Teen girls are loyal to brands, and say they take the following actions if they like a brand:

  • Buy another product by the same brand: 69%
  • Recommend the brand online: 48%
  • Follow or become a fan of the brand on a social networking site: 30%
  • Share links about the brand: 17% 

Below, other findings from the study Teen Girls: Influence, Involvement and Empowerment, by Varsity Brands and the Ketchum Global Research Network.

Sources of Influence

After their friends, fashion magazines (68%), advertisements (58%), and company websites (44%) are teen girls' primary sources of information about products and brands.

Though ads and brand websites provide teens with information, they're not viewed as influencers: 19% of teen girls say ads are "very influential" in their decisions to buy clothing and footwear, and only 21% say brands' websites are.

Some 71% of teen girls say online posts influence their purchasing decisions. Among other sources that influence purchasing, teen girls cite the following:

  • Peers: 45%
  • Fashion magazines: 32%
  • Consumer reviews: 23%
  • Celebrities:14%

Looking for great digital marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Digital Marketing Factbook (May 2010), a 296-page compilation of data and 254 charts, covering email marketing, social media, search engine marketing, e-commerce, and mobile marketing. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.


Brand Evangelists

Teen girls know they are influencers: 53% say their opinions greatly influence their friends' purchasing decisions. Moreover, nearly nine in ten teen girls say they enjoy sharing recommendations with their friends.

Shopping is cited as the top hobby among 80% of teen girls, ranking higher than reading, playing music, and chatting online. Across product categories, teen girls have a passion for fashion and share their opinions often: 79% of teens share recommendations about clothing and 66% do so about makeup and cosmetics.

Teen girls also share information about books and magazines (72%), movies and TV content (68%), and electronic devices (60%). Such levels are higher than those for adult consumers and teen boys, according to the study.

Teen girls spend large amounts of time communicating electronically with peers: one-half spend one hour or more texting each day, while one-third spend that amount socializing online with friends. Some 44% spend less than 15 minutes a day talking on the phone.

School Involvement and Leadership

Over nine in ten teen girls (93%) say they participate in one or more activities at school. Girls' involvement in team activities such as athletics (65%) and academic clubs (57%) takes priority, followed by volunteering clubs (28%).

 

Leadership is also critical to this audience: Nearly one-half of teen girls hold some type of leadership position in or out of school, and nearly three in four girls say people look to them as a leader.

What are girls stressed about? The economy (62%) and finding a job (58%) are cited as teen girls' greatest sources of anxiety, outweighing concerns over teen pregnancy (41%) and rape (29%).

About the data: The online survey of 1,016 teen girls age 13 to 18 was conducted in the US by MARC Research, July 15-21, 2010.

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