Teens and Tweens are a notoriously tough sale. They rely on the influence of their own crowd, and no matter how hard advertisers try, they’re always behind the curve (that’s so, like, 5 minutes ago).
If teens are your target market, check out Trendsta. Trendsta is a new advertising platform that takes a unique approach to cracking the teen circle of influence. They put products in the hands of those deemed “cool” and leverage their powers of persuasion across social networks. Trendsta already counts Atlantic Records, Epic Records, Penguin Books, and Delia’s among their advertisers. On the Trendsta site, you’ll see conversations ranging from Microsoft Zune to SNL skits to the latest song from a band you probably never heard of. But that’s the point, right?
So how does Trendsta find their influencers? Initially, they randomly selected 50 social networking profiles (teens with networks of 600-700 people), but the current model qualifies teens on-site with a “Trend Test” (i.e. how cool are you?). Trendsta scans each applicants Facebook profile for:
- The number of friends they have
- How many people comment on their status
- How many people write on their wall
- The number of social interactions they have
If you pass the test, you’re eligible to become a member of the community and receive free products from advertisers.
Skeptical of the Trend Test’s validity? Consider this. During Trendsta’s initial testing, they were able to follow and measure 14,000 brand-related conversations that started with the initial 50 participants. I’d call that pretty darn influential. Advertisers can monitor the same social conversations and measure their Trendsta campaign through a personal dashboard.
Brand communities are nothing new, but Trendsta maybe on to something here. Instead of fighting the fact a group of 16-year-old girls control your brand image, embrace it and use it to your advantage. The site is still a little sketchy on the details (mostly contact so-and-so for more information). Seeing how I am neither a teen nor cool enough to pass the Trend Test, I can’t demo the product either. ::Sigh:: It’s like high school all over again.