June 3, 2009, 12:00 AM

Marketers can find just about every kid on the block on a social network

99% of consumers ages 18-24 have a profile on at least one social network, finds the Participatory Marketing Network. Good news for retailer marketers seeking the youth market. But few among the youngest of adults are tweeting.

How about this for market penetration: 99% of consumers ages 18-24 have a profile on at least one social network, according to new research. If they’re looking to find shoppers online, retailers specializing in products with great appeal to the youth market-apparel, consumer electronics, music, games and others-need look no further than Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and other social networks.

Not so much on Twitter, though, finds the study from the Participatory Marketing Network, a firm that advises marketers on transitioning from push and permission marketing to participatory marketing. Only 22% of consumers ages 18-24 are using Twitter. The marketing firm is quick to add: so far.

“Twitter dominates the news, but clearly we’re only touching the surface of its potential as a marketing vehicle,” says Michael Della Penna, co-founder and executive chairman. “This is a classic ‘glass half full’ scenario for Twitter because it’s clear that Generation Y has an appetite for social networking but still hasn’t fully embraced micro-blogging. There is a tremendous opportunity now for marketers to develop strategies to get this important group active on Twitter, too.”

Participatory Marketing Network conducted the study in May with research partner the Lubin School of Business Interactive and Direct Marketing Lab at Pace University. It questioned 200 consumers between the ages of 18-24.

Of the 22% who use Twitter, the study finds:

  • 85% follow friends
  • 54% follow celebrities
  • 29% follow family
  • 29% follow companies
The study also found that 89% have downloaded an application to their social network profile page and 38% have an iPhone or iPod Touch.

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