Yes, This Is Your Father’s Social Media

Nielson Online just released a report, “Global Faces and Networked Places,” that should once and for all destroy the notion that online Social Media is a great communication tool, if you want to network with college kids, but not so much if you’re trying to reach their parents.

“While social networks started out among the younger audience, they’ve become more mainstream with the passage of time. Not surprisingly the audience has become broader and older. This shift has primarily been driven by Facebook whose greatest growth has come from people aged 35-49 years of age (+24.1 million). From December 2007 through December 2008, Facebook added almost twice as many 50-64 year old visitors (+13.6 million) than it has added under 18 year old visitors (+7.3 million).” Social Networking’s New Global Footprint

It’s hard to ignore this statement, “Facebook added almost twice as many 50-64 year old visitors (+13.6 million) than it has added under 18 year old visitors (+7.3 million).” What does this mean? Simply put, it means social media has jumped the generational divide. It appears to have a long and healthy life ahead of it. And these more mature users will be using it for a variety of mainstream commercial purposes. The throwing of sheep will give way to the throwing of business.

It’s time to get out of the denial phase that is subconsciously fueled by fear and laziness. It’s time to look seriously at Social Media tools and the behaviors that will position us for success on this new frontier. It’s time to leave the Social Media hype behind and begin looking at how we can use the right Social Media tools in meaningful ways.

Ask yourself, what is keeping you from learning about, adopting and using Social Media to further your career, increase your earnings, improve your brand awareness? Be brutally honest. No one but you is looking. And if you think you don’t need to adapt because Social Media isn’t that relevant, I hope you can stop working very soon and comfortably retire with your current assets.

If you can’t, it’s time to start learning. You might be pleasantly surprised at how hard it isn’t.