Hey gang. Great comments yesterday. User participation is really picking up - glad to see it. Keep it up!
As you probably know by now, I try limit how much I focus on statistics on this site. I am a creative strategist by nature and there are always ways to get data to tell the story you want it to - and while I focus on strategy and technographics, this site in particular isn’t about “numbers.” But I think the future of social media will be dramatically affected by one more thing: age.
We at POKE are often asked about how demographics and particularly AGE affect campaign performace or internet usage. Clearly there has always been a drop off in age - but having focused recently on a project aimed at Baby Boomers, I can tell you the drop off point has moved signifigantly. People interested in social media marketing often ask me how age impacts Internet usage particuary when it comes to UGC type of web properties (as opposed to brand sites, etc). New data from Pew Internet & American Life Project and eMarketer shows this drop off clearly.
As you might have expected GX and GY top the charts. They are digital natives and use the web to find, connect, entertain, archive, the list goes on. But what is really fascinating is that the numbers stay strong through several generations until you get to age 71, when Internet usage starts to drop. (Sorry Mom and Dad, I guess you weren’t interviewed by fine folks at Pew.
All the other data I’ve seen shows that numbers across the board continue to climb, and even if you’re targeting older Americans, there are sites such as Eons and Third Age that do a great job targeting older people for social media marketing.
I happen to be in the middle of a few projects right now that aim to engage people beyond GX and GY. I am seeing more of those type of engagements showing up quite often actually.
I have a prediction:
The “Age” technographic/demographic is facing extiction. I read these numbers as the gap closing - fast. Competitve marketers will need to focus on more exact means of splicing customer data - personality, interests, time spent, the list goes on. But age? I think our parents (and their parents?) are trying to tell us someing: “We’re here too. How brand _ will you engage me?”