In a recent blog I cited a statistic indicating that all 10 of the global leaders in Internet traffic were involved in social media. That’s the voice and behavior of your customers. If they are talking about you, your company or products, you should know what they are saying. If they are not talking about you, you should be concerned and want to learn what they are talking about. Finally, you should devising deliberate, systematic and credible ways to become part of the conversation.
Well, your customers. That is if you want to pass muster when they vet you, your products and companies, via social media, before they do business with you. If you don’t pass muster they won’t do business with you. Well, that not exactly true. They will still buy from you but will focus on price and convenience, not value.
However, the solution is not as simple as becoming active in Facebook or Youtube or Linkedin. Men and women are participating at different rates in different sites and activities. Young adults are drawn to different forms of connecting. It is not black and white but the patterns are striking.
Here are some statistics reported by Rapleaf.com.
- 63% of Facebook users are female and this pattern is true for MySpace, Friendster, Plaxo and Hi5 and the dominant age bracket is between 18 and 25 yrs.
- Linkedin is the anomaly in the pattern of gender participation in social networking. Linkedin members are 61% male. The dominant age range is 26-35 yrs and more the older age brackets are more represented.
- Married women are the fastest growing segment on social networks. In contrast, men over 30 and especially married men, are hardly involved.
Here are a couple of other patterns to consider as you begin to shape a social media strategy.
There are now over 112 million blogs tracked by Technorati.com. Most bloggers are male but that is changing. In 2005, Blogher.com was formed by three female bloggers to promote blogging by women. If you are targeting women, this site lists many of the ones who are blogging.
Everyone uses email, right? Maybe. But don’t assume it is the preferred method of connecting for all ages. People in the 15-24 yrs. age spend twice as much time using Facebook as they do emailing. In people over 44 yrs, time spend using email it 1.5 times greater than use of Facebook. (source: www.morganstanley.com/techresearch)
Finally, before you conclude that older people are just not as involved in social media, consider that adults over 65 yrs are the most active users of social media travel sites.