New research: Four strategies for connecting with back-to-school tech shoppers on Twitter

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Pencils and notebooks? Ancient history. Our latest research shows that this back-to-school season, 76% of young shoppers on Twitter hope to fill their backpacks with new laptops, headphones and other consumer tech items.

Tech retailers already use Twitter to connect in real time with motivated school shoppers from millennials to moms. To help these marketers optimize their campaigns, here are new survey insights about the tech items teens and millennials want most – and the types of content that drive them to purchase.

Most young Twitter users plan to buy their own technology

Many young people on Twitter are likely to set aside summer job wages to buy their own tech products. About two-thirds (66%) of teens and more than half (58%) of millennials will cover their own back-to-school tech bills.

When shopping with their own money, teens will be eyeing headphones (40%), wearables (32%), laptops (15%) and smartphones (15%). Millennials who dip into their own pockets are on the lookout for headphones (29%), wearables (25%), laptops (20%) and smartphones (17%).

Strategy: Win young users’ attention with action-packed video content. HP tells their product story with a series of Vines, created by influencers, that build on the success of its #BendtheRules campaign last year.

Millennials are influenced by peer recommendations

Recommendations from other users also carry weight. Nearly half (47%) of millennials say Tweets from people who have already purchased a product are an important factor to consider.

Strategy: Build millennials’ trust by encouraging current similar customers and fans to provide feedback or endorsements with Retweets.

Teens on Twitter are swayed by product image

Appearance is important to this young demographic. When shopping for tech items this summer, the majority (68%) of millennials said Tweets with product images will help make their decision, and many teens (44%) also cited product images as key.

Teens on Twitter are also budget conscious: 45% said that deals matter when they’re deciding which headphones, laptops or other tech items to purchase.

Strategy: To connect with teens on Twitter, highlight rich visuals, Vines or Promoted Videos of your products, as well as information about special offers or competitive pricing. Here, @beatsbydre uses a playful product image accompanied by teen-friendly language.

Many young Twitter users hope to get back-to-school tech gifts

The holidays aren’t the only giving season: 83% of teens (defined as users age 13-17) and 68% of millennials (users age 18-24) on Twitter say they would like to receive school-related consumer electronics before September.

For Twitter users in their teens, the most desired items include laptops (46%), wearable devices (38%), headphones (37%) and tablets (23%). The breakdown looks similar for millennials: at the top of their lists are laptops (34%), followed by wearable devices (30%), headphones (29%) and tablets (26%).

Moms are likely to fulfill these back-to-school lists, and luckily, it’s easy to find them on Twitter: most (69%) say they check Twitter at least once a day. What makes these chief household officers reach for their credit cards? A 2014 Deloitte study shows that among the content that appeals to budget-conscious moms, information on sales, coupons and loyalty points go a long way.

Strategy: Highlight sales for budget-conscious moms and students in your Tweets. For example, Microsoft offers a 10% discount to students and teachers who purchase a Surface Pro 3 tablet.

The study

In April 2015, we surveyed 5,312 U.S. Twitter users age 24 or younger about what tech products they expect to buy or receive before September, and what factors will influence those purchases. Users received the six-question unbranded survey via @TwitterSurveys.