Engaging With Youth on Social Media

A 2018 study by Hopelab and Well Being Trust found that 93% of youth aged 14-22 use social media, with most being active online daily. Young people aren't just socializing online; they are researching and reaching out about important topics like personal health.

Hopelab conducted a survey of teens' (age 14-17) and young adults (age 18-22) use of digital media to access health information and resources. In 2018, they found:

  • The vast majority (87%) of teens and young adults go online for health information, particularly about fitness, nutrition, stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Nearly half of teens (49%) and most young adults (76%) have used mobile health apps.
  • 90% of respondents with symptoms of depression go online for information about mental health.

three teenagers stare and cheer at each of their own cell phones


By sharing important topics that young people care about on social media, organizations can help improve the health and wellbeing of those they reach. Knowing how to engage on social media is essential to sharing that information to ensure it is well received. 

Here are some great examples of how to keep teens and young people engaged and connected on social media:

Be inclusive and respectful

Young people have very valuable ideas and opinions that should be heard. To encourage young people to express those ideas, show that you value their input. 

Be genuine

Young people are far more likely to express themselves around people they can trust, understand, and get along with.

Provide opportunities for meaningful action

Don't just ask young people for their opinions; offer them tangible ways to get involved in creating short and long-term social change.

Connect young people with topics and causes they care about

Young people want to make a difference and connect with important causes. You can build highly effective engagement opportunities by keeping their goals and ambitions in mind.

Additional Resources

The Adolescent Health Initiative created a Starter Guide for Engaging with Youth on Social Media which contains tips and resources for ensuring your organization engages effectively on social media. Download the complete resource here!

Visit https://www.etr.org/yen/resources/ for more resources on Youth Engagement and more.

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