Trends Report

The Facebook Factor: US Online Youth

Quantifying The Impact Of Social Networking Sites On Brand Interactions For US Online Youth

September 19th, 2013
Gina Fleming
With contributors:
Nate Elliott , Reineke Reitsma , Andrea Mitchell , Ryan Morrill


It's been more than a year since Forrester published its original report on the "Facebook factor," which quantified the impact of a Facebook fan on brand interactions for US online adults, and social media has only become a bigger part of consumers' online experience. Social media is engrained in the lives of US consumers, and we found this to also be true for US youth. Young consumers ages 12 to 17 in the US use social media to connect not only with their friends but also with companies and brands. In this report, Forrester uses statistical modeling to analyze the impact of being a Facebook fan on brands for the youth market. The model gives insight into how fans are more likely to interact with brands than non-fans and shows how engaging with the brand on social media affects the likelihood of three events: purchase, consideration, and recommendation of a brand. We call this the "Facebook factor." But marketers beware: Marketing to youth using social media requires a new set of rules.

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