Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Think Social Media Is for Kids? Think again...

I've had several business owners tell me they are hesitant and don't know if they should use Twitter, Facebook, and other social media for business purposes ("Teenagers aren't my audience" is a favorite objection). While I scratch my head at that idea, I do understand: this is a new frontier and many still cling to the outdated social media stereotype set long ago by the likes of MySpace

Research on social media use is scattered and spotty, with no major, well-known authority. So, I've been on one of those get-lost-in-cyberspace hunts to track down data. To keep things as orderly as possible, I focus here on the hottest social medium: Twitter. What I found didn't surprise me, but it might surprise those who resist because they think social media is for their teenaged kids, not for their own business. Here is some key insight (follow links for full reports):

Enough? (If not, let me know, I'm obsessed at the moment!) The point is, there is a major shift in business right now; specifically in marketing a business (and, of course, in the field of public relations... but that is another post). 

As I do this research and sense the change, it reminds me of a personal family story: I'm not sure of the date, but sometime in the late 60s/early 70s, my dad, who was in the military, was offered a job in a craaaazy new area: computers and networking. As a man with a young family, it was a risky proposition that raised the skeptical eyebrows of my grandparents. Dad, however, took the leap (and, needless to say, never regretted it). So, was he a visionary or a wild risk taker? Not really. He simply did his homework and smelled the winds of change. 

Now, four decades later, when I hear resistance to social media and this undeniable evolution in the marketplace, I bite my tongue and offer the data above. On the inside, however, I'm screaming: Hey! Can you smell that?? It is those wind of change again...

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