Friday Buzz: How Teens Are Embracing Online Connections

A new study finds that teenagers are likely to both find new friends online and keep the conversation going on digital platforms. Also: The revamped Hamburglar stole our hearts but didn't sell burgers. Is that a problem?

We talk about millennials a heck of a lot—particularly the way they connect with others. But let’s go a little younger: How does the next generation embrace online connections?

Short answer (and this probably won’t surprise you): They connect online really, really well. According to a new study from Pew Research Center, more than half of all teens have made at least two friends online, and 57 percent have made at least one new pal. And often, they’re connecting not just through social media, but also through online gaming.

“Much more than for girls, boys use video games as a way to spend time and engage in day-to-day interactions with their peers and friends. These interactions occur in face-to-face settings, as well as in networked gaming environments,” the study states.

But while they hang out with their friends in person, they generally don’t do so daily. Instead, they tend to keep connected through messaging platforms. While just 25 percent of teens see their friends every day, 55 percent text their friends daily.

How could these insights prove helpful as you look ahead to the next generation of potential members?

When Edgy Marketing Doesn’t Work

In May, the Hamburglar re-entered our lives. In a stubbly, live-action form, he created a lot of buzz for McDonald’s, which has been struggling to find its mojo of late.

But there was one problem: The hipster burger thief didn’t move the needle. The sirloin burgers he was pitching failing to reach expected sales numbers.

So here’s a question to think on: If a buzzy campaign gets good reviews and a lot of conversation going, is it a success even if it doesn’t produce tangible results? That’s a good one to debate with your marketing staff.

Other Links of Note

Engaging volunteers isn’t easy because they don’t all like to engage in the same way. But there are some tactics that generally work across the board. VolunteerMatch explains.

Association Executive Management’s David M. Patt relays an anecdote about what happened when a new board member hoped to get free membership out of his leadership role.

How does Dropbox create new ideas? This blog post unveils all the company’s greatest product-strategy secrets.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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