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Who Uses Social Media, Anyway?

A week or so ago, my colleague and fellow blogger Laura Matrisciano was interviewed by Michelle Sandlin of the Houston Chronicle for an article about social media and relocation. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I believe strongly in social media as a communications tool and I was thrilled that Laura had the opportunity to discuss how relocation has changed as a result of new technologies. Plus, Laura rocks it on LinkedIn and Twitter.

But, I did notice a couple of themes that I would like to elaborate on.

I’ve noticed that most business conversations about social media revolve around LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. While these can all be great tools, it’s important to remember that the success of these tools varies greatly depending on the type

Relocation and Social Media

Photo Courtesy of Ethority.

of business you are in. For example, there is no reason to have a Facebook page just for the sake of having a Facebook page. You should only have a Facebook page if it is a gathering spot for your community. Same with Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and most other social media sites. Ultimately, if you try to be everything, to everybody, you will waste valuable time and resources that you could be spending on an initiative that is more meaningful to your customers and partners.

I think it’s also time to address the myth that it’s the Millennials leading the social media charge. I understand how this myth was generated – the oldest Millennials came out of school at the very moment the social media we think about (ex. Facebook) started to grow. Being naturals at technology because we grew up with it, many of us gravitated towards working in the field. We are also very accustomed to being hyper connected to one another. As Laura astutely said in her interview, Millennials want answers quickly (often via text). In my post next week, I’ll talk about some of the very real ways Millennials are influencing changes in communications and in relocation. You can also read our EBook on the topic here. But, I digress.

Don’t let the Millennial myth that fool you. Back in the 90’s, when most Millennials were kids and many weren’t even born yet, we had social media. Yahoo chat groups, for example, were wildly popular, as were niche sites with message forums. While there were not apps for these sites back then, they were (and remain today) forms of social media.

You know what else is social media?

Blogs.

Comments on news articles.

Forums (some of relocation forum favorites).

Review websites (ex. TripAdvisor, Yelp).

Anything where people can engage with content, and one another.

So, it’s not just Millennials using Facebook that’s driving this trend. It’s everyone. And, to prove it, check out these stats:

Average age of Facebook users: 40.5

Average age of LinkedIn users: 44.2

Average age of Twitter users: 37.3

Two-thirds of Pinterest users are over 35.

I could go on, but you get the point.

Deciding whether or not to get involved in social media should be easy. The answer yes. Always yes.

The tricky part is determining what form of social media is going to be worth your time. That depends on your business, your target audience and the content you can (and should) create to tell your brand story.

Stay tuned for more on this topic as it is near and dear to my heart.

Do you feel that your business has changed because of social media? If so, please share your stories below.

 

 

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RICK CALANNI
VP of Business Development Northeast Region

 

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