Interacting via social media isn’t the preserve of the young

Following on from my post previously from The Times here another interesting read was found in the 16th April issue of NMA where Rebecca Jennings, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research wrote a similar piece how an older age than expected is using social media. The following is a repost of that article.

Most interactive marketers know that young consumers are very engaged in social media, but many fail to appreciate that the same social tools can also be used to reach older users. Recent Forrester research shows there are a significant number of European baby boomers – adults aged 43-63 – who already read social media on a regular basis, and another, slightly smaller subset who are already uploading their own content, like videos, onto the web. Marketers can take advantage of this by offering them value with useful information and support provided in a social context.

Overall, 47% of younger boomers – those online adults aged 43 to 52 – now engage with social media on a regular basis, as well as the 41% of older boomers – those aged 53 to 63 – that also take part. In each of the groups, more than a third can be classified as spectators, or those who are reading social content such as blogs at least monthly.

While boomers are taking the plunge into consuming social content, they’ve been slower at joining social networks; just 10% of younger boomers and just 7% of older boomers participate in this type of activity. For example, one of the most popular social networks aimed at older consumers, SagaZone in the UK, has around 45,000 users, compared to Facebook’s estimated 18m+ users.

Despite their resistance to joining social networks, both young and old boomers are contributing their own opinions online – known as being a critic. These critics do things like participate in forums or post their own reviews online. Encouragingly for marketers, around a tenth of both age groups fall in to this category and a slightly smaller percentage, 9% of younger boomers and 7% of older ones, are creators: those who upload their own content or write their own blogs.

Marketers should also take note that just as participation in social media varies between age groups, it also varies between European countries. Dutch boomers lead the pack as the most engaged older audience overall, with 69% of 43-52 year olds and 60% of 53-63 year olds using social media on a regular basis.Of these other Europeans, Italian boomers are the keenest creators, with around 17% of younger boomers and 14% of older boomers involved. Younger boomers in the UK are considerably more engaged than older ones, with around 52% of 43-52 year olds engaged in social media, but just 38% of 53-63 year olds. About 40% of boomers in both France and Spain are keen spectators but just a third of the German boomer audience are engaged in social media.

So what on earth is Twitter and why should I care?

I was out with friends last night who aren’t part of the Twitter scene and make fun of me for using it because to them it all seems a bit pointless.. “I heard it was just Facebook statuses throughout the day and I don’t care what someone has had for lunch”
My cries (not literal cries) of it’s a bit deeper than that didn’t seem to cut the mustard.. so here is a presentation that Stephen Davies of PR Blogger and 3W PR gave at the ‘Don’t Panic – Guide to Social Media’ event recently in London that goes some way to answering their questions more coherently than I could!
View more presentations from 3w pr .

Justifying Social Media in a Recession.

The presentation below was given by all round friendly chap and serial tweeter Dirk ‘The Cow’ Singer at the Social Network World Forum in London on 9th March 2009. They are now incidentally advertising for the 2010 event which isn’t until March 15th 2010 but that’s forward planning for you! The presentation deck is all about Justifying Social Media spend in a recession to ‘internal clients’. Well recommended to anyone working in any way shape or form in that thing we know and love called Social Media.

The Micro-Sociology of Networks

This is a brilliant presentation on how networks and sociology combine together. According to David Armano, though technology doesn’t change human nature, it changes human behaviour. It gives us the capacity to communicate effortlessly and instantly. This gives rise to networks, and networks have increasingly taken more of an important role in society.

What I mean by that is you can go to Twitter, to Facebook, to message boards when asking questions. Human search engines, far more powerful than any search engine algorithms. For breadth of content, Google still wins, that’s for sure. Social networks are populated by human people, the answers they provide to questions have influence and their own currency.

One not to miss – It explains detailed concepts with thought provoking illustrations and in an understandable way. I’ve started a ‘Goodies’ category on the blog for slideshow’s like this to go under so from here on in, any content that I find of use can be found within ‘Goodies’.

View more presentations from David Armano. (tags: behavior human)

The Periodic Table of Social Media Elements

In Rick Liebling’s own words –

“Social Media really is a lot like chemistry. There is a huge pool of elements you can choose from and an infinite variety of combinations you can create. Twitter + sharing + commenting will give you a different result than blogging + LinkedIn + Flickr. Then of course there are the active ingredients – the people. A dash of Chris Brogan plus a big helping of David Armano and the whole thing changes again.

Well, this got me to thinking. It would be handy to have a Periodic Table of the Social Media Elements. So, I created one: (click for larger version)

A lot of this is going to be old news to Social Media practitioners, but if you have friends, colleagues, parents, students or bosses who are having trouble keeping all the elements of Social Media straight, you may want to download/print this chart out for them.”

Periodic Table of Social Media Elements

What do all the abbreviations stand for?

Here’s the key:

Social Media Behaviours: (These are the positive things you choose to do)

Sh = Share

Mt = Monitor

Fr = Friend

Cv = Converse

Cu = Customize

Li = Listen

En = Engage

Di = Dialogue

Social Media All-Rounders: (These are the people you can find all over the Social Media landscape)

Mc = Mack Collier (The Viral Garden)

To = Todd Defren (PR Squared)

Lo = Lee Odden (Online Marketing Blog)

Dr = Darren Rowse (ProBlogger)

Mj = Mitch Joel (Six Pixels of Separation)

Ds = David Meerman Scott (Web Ink Now)

Pe = Peter Kim (Being Peter Kim)

Bs = Brian Solis (PR 2.0)

Sz = Shel Holtz (A Shel of my Former Self)

Rb = Rohit Bhargava (Influential Markeitng Blog)

Gl = Geoff Livingston (The Buzz Bin)

As = Andy Sernovitz (Damn! I Wish I’d Thought of That!)

An = Andy Beal Marketing Pilgrim

Ad = Andy Beard (Niche Marketing)

Al = Alan Wolk (The Toad Stool)

Cc = C.C. Chapman (The Advance Guard)

Nb = Noah Brier (Noah Brier)

Cr = Connie Reece (Every Dot Connects)

Kp = Katja Presnal (Skimbaco Lifestyle)

Da = David Armano (Logic + Emotion)

Jc = Joel Comm (Joel Comm)

Ls = Liz Strauss (Successful Blog)

Jh = Jackie Huba (Church of the Customer)

Vm = Valeria Maltoni (Conversation Agent)

Cg = Chris Garrett (Chrisg)

Ah = Ann Handley (Annarchy & Marketing Profs)

Jj = Joseph Jaffe (Jaffe Juice)

Ju = Joe Pulizzi (Junta42)

Ng = Nigel Hollis (Straight Talk)

Nh = Neville Hobson (Neville Hobson)

Bl = B.L. Ochman (What’s Next)

Si = Shel Israel (Global Neighbourhoods)

Ni = Nick Burcher (Nick Burcher)

Social Media Tools: (These are the applications and tools essential to Social Media)

De = Delicious

Su = StumbleUpon

Td = TweetDeck

Fe = FeedBurner

Dp = Dopplr

Tu = TinyURL

Tb = Tumblr

Fb = Facebook

Lk = LinkedIn

Te = Technorati

Fk = Flickr

Ms = MySpace

Go = Google

Dg = Digg

Social Media Practices: (Do these to maximize your Social Media experience)

Fl = Follow

Ht = Hashtag

Po = Post

St = Status Update

Sp = Spread

Se = Search

Hp = Hat tip

Fd = Feed

Rt = Retweet

Ud = Update

Cm = Comment

Jn = Join

Up = Upload

Tg = Tag

Tc = Tag clouds

Dm = Direct Message

Rx = Remix

Ln = Link

Mu = Mashup

Sb = Subscribe

Rf = Refer

Sr = Stream

Re = Reply

Rc = Recommend

Sn = Syndicate

Pk = Poke

Pm = Promote

Ib = Imbed

Social Media Live: (Bringing the Social Media experience to the real world)

Pf = Piers Fawkes (Likemind)

Rd = Russell Davies (Interesting)

Cb = Chris Brogan (PodCamp)

Sg = Seth Godin (Seth Live)

Ha = Peter Shankman (Help a Reporter Out)

Facebook People: (Power users of the Social Media Networking platform)

Jp = Jeff Pulver

Zf = Ze Frank

Twitter People: (Masters of leveraging microblogging)

Gk = Guy Kawasaki @guykawasaki

Wl = Gary Vaynerchuk @garyvee

Aa = Aloha Arleen @AlohaArleen

Sm = Scott Monty @scottmonty

Jo = Jeremiah Owyang @jowyang

Sa = Sarah Evans @PRSarahEvans

Sc = Robert Scoble @scobleizer

Zp = Zappos @zappos

Sq = The Real Shaq @THE_REAL_SHAQ

Bo= Barack Obama @barackobama

Pc = Laura Fitton @pistachio

Tm = Warren Sukernek @warrenss

YouTube People: (Pioneers in developing content for social media video)

Ij = iJustine

Jl = Judson Laipply

Blog People: (Consistently intellingent, thought-provoking & educational)

Sy = Shoe Money

Ar = Ad Rants

Mp = Micro Persuasion

Aw = Ads of the World

Sj = Search Engine Journal

Cf = Common Craft

Cp = CopyBlogger

Ba = Brand Autopsy

Sd = Search Engine Land

Dd = Dosh Dosh

Gv = Gaping Void

Ma = Mashable