What Percentage of Teens Are Glued to Social Media? A Small Business Owner‘s Perspective

As a serial entrepreneur who has built several successful small businesses, I‘ve seen firsthand how indispensable social media marketing is today. But here‘s a mind-blowing stat – 90% of teens in the US actively use social platforms.

So how can small business owners use this insight? Which sites should we focus on marketing to the next generation of spenders? After digging into the data across gender, locations and income levels, I‘ll share my hot takes on where entrepreneurs should spend their time and budget.

A Majority of Teens Across Demographics Are on Social Media

The 90% statistic holds steady across gender, with 89% of teen girls and 92% of teen boys using social media. Geography doesn‘t make much difference either – teen usage is at 90% or above in urban, suburban and rural areas.

Here‘s a breakdown by household income:

  • Less than $30K: 87%
  • $30K – $74,999: 90%
  • $75K+: 92%

So entrepreneurs looking to attract teenage audiences need a social strategy regardless of their target demographic.

YouTube Dominates But Emerging Platforms Are Hot on Its Heels

YouTube leads with 95% reach amongst teens, but TikTok and Snapchat are the fastest growing:

Platform – % Teens Who Have Used – % Teens on Constantly
YouTube – 95% – 19%
TikTok – 67% – 16%
Instagram – 62% – 10%
Snapchat – 59% – 15%
Facebook – 32% – 2%

Facebook is practically ancient history to Gen Z. As a small business owner, I‘ve shifted my video and advertising investments to YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. Especially for D2C ecommerce brands, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of TikTok in reaching young audiences.

Teens Use Social Media to Share Their Lives and Connect

What drives such high usage? Key motivations include:

  • Bonding with friends – 82%
  • Entertainment – 76%
  • Self-expression – 68%
  • Exploring romantic relationships – 55%
  • Sharing achievements – 49%

I leverage these teen preferences in my social strategy by showcasing behind-the-scenes company culture, employee spotlights and motivational founder stories. These resonate much more than traditional advertising.

But Beware the Risks of Social Media Overuse

Heavy usage does come with downsides:

  • 25% feel excluded
  • 26% feel insecure
  • 33% feel pressure to show off a fake life

As a parent myself, I urge moderation and oversight. Still, smart small business owners should continue tailoring marketing to teens on social given the staggering participation.

What other generational insights can small businesses capitalize on? Let me know in the comments!