Growth5 Blog

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Myth: Social Networking is for the Youngsters

Our Chief Creative Officer, Sean Carton, forwarded these articles (Tech Crunchies, NY Times) reminding us that social networking / social media is not just for young people. Your audience, no matter the demographic, is involved in social networking – at home, at the office and especially on the go (mobile). The highlights:

Tech Crunchies
1. Nielsen presents an age-wise breakup of mobile social network users based on data for December 2009.

13-17 : 7%
18-24 : 16%
25-34 : 34%
35-54 : 36%
55-64 : 5%
65+ : 2%

2. Women use social networks on their mobile devices more than men 55% - 45%.
NY Times
3. Facebook now has more than 400 million active users, up from only 50 million as recently as 2007.

4. Facebook has attracted many “olds,” and they tend to stay put (AOL). More than 50 percent of Facebook’s members in the United States are 35 or older, and only 26.8 percent are 24 or under, according to an analysis of December visitors by comScore Media Metrix.

5. Economists use the term network effects to refer to the way the value of a product or service increases in tandem with the number of people who use it. If you’re one of only 10 people in the world with an e-mail account, its usefulness is limited; add a billion more, and the practical value of yours increases apace.

For an individual member, the most powerful network effects may be indirect ones that come from the huge number of unknown other people in the Facebook world. Their mass attracts, in turn, suppliers of complementary products and services.

For Windows, the enormous installed base attracted third-party software developers, which in turn drew more users. Apple’s iPhone has had a similar virtuous cycle. So, too, on Facebook, developers of applications like FamilyLink, Marketplace and iLike’s Music create a software universe with seemingly infinite choices. And that attracts more users — and still more developers.
Network effects is not an age-specific concept. Social networking is attracting users of all ages and keeping their interest. If your marketing plan doesn't contain at least some aspect of social media, you are probably advertising where a lot of people are no longer paying attention.

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