Baby Boomers and Social Media Success


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This presentation describes the disconnect existing between baby boomer business leaders and social media networking. Includes Pews Research statistics and possible explanations for the disconnect. Also explores the value of the presenter's new book, "The Boomer's Guide to Social Media Success: Harnessing Your Inner Expert to Promote Your Business."

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Baby Boomers and Social Media Success

  1. 1. Social Media for the Baby Boomer Generation By Nancy Cavanaugh September 19, 2011
  2. 2. About the boomers… <ul><li>The baby boom generation has demonstrated enormous strength—in its size, collective experience, and cultural impact. </li></ul><ul><li>But there’s been an ongoing “disconnect” between boomers and social media activity. </li></ul><ul><li>Boomers need to adjust their traditional approach to the Internet in order to achieve success in social networking. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is “baby boomer?” A baby boomer is defined as anyone born between 1946 through 1964. <ul><li>Early boomers span the years 1946-1955. </li></ul><ul><li>Late boomers span the years 1956-1964. </li></ul><ul><li>Boomers have been called the “pig-in- a-python” generation because of their enormous numbers—78 million strong. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why the Baby Boomer Disconnect?
  5. 5. Boomers share a strong collective experience • Shared media exposure as kids – TV – Radio – Advertising/merchandising • Development of a “liberated” youth culture • Active in Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation • Traumatized by Vietnam and Watergate
  6. 6. Boomers have become a vital part of the economy <ul><li>75 percent of Fortune 500 companies are run by boomers. </li></ul><ul><li>70 percent of the law firms in this country have senior partners who are boomers. </li></ul><ul><li>Famous boomers include Donald Trump, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Clint Eastwood, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Bruce Springsteen, Hank Williams, Jr., Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, Madonna…you get the idea! </li></ul>
  7. 7. Big surprise: Boomers are not in the forefront of the social media revolution Boomer leaders have been slow to adopt social networking to build business
  8. 8. There’s a big “disconnect” between boomers and social media <ul><li>For two years in a row, Pews Internet Research reports that boomers lag behind younger generations in their adoption of social networks. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only five in 10 boomers aged 50-64 use social networking sites, compared to eight in 10 users aged 18-29 and seven in 10 aged 30-49 years old. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But boomers are starting to catch up. The number of users has doubled from 25% in 2010 to 51% in 2011—the fastest growth rate of any generation. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. How are boomers “getting their feet wet” using social networking? <ul><li>Keeping in contact with children and grandchildren </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing photos and emails . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Signing up for a personal profile on Facebook. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reconnecting with people from the past. </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking online support from others for living with a chronic disease. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogging . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participating in online health discussions. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. What has this got to do with boomer-led business? Not much. That same generational lag includes the failure of boomer business leaders to use social networking to build business.
  11. 11. Baby boomers are still uncertain about how to carry over their networking skills on Facebook and Twitter to promote their businesses.
  12. 12. Why the boomer “disconnect” is harmful to their organizations <ul><li>A recent study by MarketTools revealed that 94% of companies do not yet use social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to gather customer feedback, despite customers’ growing engagement with these media. Instead, they use email/online surveys (51%), formal phone surveys (28%), and informal phone calls (28%). Those that do incorporate feedback gathered through social media channels are able to uncover richer insights to help them improve customer satisfaction. </li></ul>
  13. 13. My theory on why the lag persists— boomer Internet experiences focus on information gathering, not networking <ul><li>In May 2011, Pews Internet research confirmed that the most popular Internet activities over the past decade have been search and email. </li></ul><ul><li>Business professionals with a college degree who are part of the boomer generation rely on these same two activities a bit more than everyone else. </li></ul><ul><li>Email as the “killer app” drew business leaders onto the Internet. Then search provided a means of information gathering. It’s all analytical—not based upon any behaviors that focus on social business. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Social media as a business tool And how do you as a boomer business owner bridge that disconnect?
  15. 15. What is “social media?” <ul><li>Social media networks are Internet tools for sharing and discussing information. </li></ul><ul><li>Social media is the process of building a community where people share information, ideas and opinions, photos and videos, all through social interaction with others. </li></ul><ul><li>The success of a social media network depends upon the interactions among participants. </li></ul>
  16. 16. There’s a big difference between a profile and a “Page” on Facebook <ul><li>A personal profile is meant for friends and family. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As administrator of your profile, you can set up a Page that separates business from personal networking. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A Page is a separate entity meant for business-related activity. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact with customers and prospects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide product/service information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish the business/yourself as an industry leader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do you want to do today? </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Social Media is like a cocktail party…
  18. 18. People show up, wander around and pick up on interesting conversations. <ul><li>• For strangers, you might… </li></ul><ul><li>– Sample conversations </li></ul><ul><li>– Listen for catch phrases </li></ul><ul><li>– Look for an opportunity to contribute </li></ul><ul><li>• No hard-sell techniques allowed! </li></ul>
  19. 19. If you find people you know…
  20. 20. Take into account… <ul><li>– One might be a “raving fan;” </li></ul><ul><li>– One might be the friend of a “raving fan;” </li></ul><ul><li>– One might be someone interested in learning </li></ul><ul><li>more about what you do. </li></ul><ul><li> Your conversation will be different depending </li></ul><ul><li>upon who you’re speaking with. </li></ul>
  21. 21. All this sounds like traditional business networking. Right? <ul><li>• Wrong! Traditional business networking— the cocktail party, the golf game, the dinner with a client… </li></ul><ul><li>– Takes place face to face. </li></ul><ul><li>– Are prearranged by appointment. </li></ul><ul><li>– Don’t involve any underlying apprehension </li></ul><ul><li>about how interaction works online. </li></ul>Facebook currently has 663 million accounts. Users make up the third largest country in the world. It also offers advertisers largest database of consumer profiles on the planet.
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  24. 24. Major Social Media Networks
  25. 25. Why use Social Media? <ul><li>Get feedback. Facebook and Twitter are great for listening to what people say. </li></ul><ul><li>Create demand. Inform your target audience of upcoming products, services or events. </li></ul><ul><li>Get attention. Example: WisDOT is now tweeting construction updates. </li></ul><ul><li>Answer questions. People in social media love to help others. Be one of those helpful folks! </li></ul><ul><li>Empower staff. Train employees to use social media effectively to win support for your organization. A simple start: Use social media to facilitate communication among members of work groups. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Boomers must ask themselves… <ul><li>What are the top two or three questions most asked about your business? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there any knowledge gaps that need to be addressed? </li></ul><ul><li>What do customers want from a relationship? Are those needs any different among followers in your social media networks? </li></ul><ul><li>What will it take to make prospects understand how your product/service will help them solve their problems—problems they may not even know they have? </li></ul>
  27. 27. Tip for networking success: Tell a story <ul><li>Make a list of your business strengths/assets. Boomers have much to offer as “elders” in terms of business success stories. </li></ul><ul><li>Pick 2-3 memorable events and distill them into short stories to share. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that social media also involves more than just text. Facebook is image-oriented; Twitter is link-oriented. And the increasing popularity of video will encourage 2-3 minute clips everywhere. </li></ul>Craft your role as a business leader who has something of value that makes your customers’ lives better.
  28. 28. The 4 “Es” Program as outlined in The Boomer’s Guide to Social Media Success <ul><li>Position your organization as a “thought leader” that is known, liked, and trusted. </li></ul><ul><li>– ENGAGE the strangers in the crowd who are looking for your specific knowledge and authority. </li></ul><ul><li>– EDUCATE both strangers and clients by offering consistent, value-added information. </li></ul><ul><li>– ELEVATE awareness of your followers about your products and services. </li></ul><ul><li>– ENLIST followers as “raving fans.” </li></ul>
  29. 29. To learn more, visit…. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>There you will find information about my new book, The Boomer’s Guide to Social Media Success: Harnessing Your Inner Expert to Promote Your Business. </li></ul><ul><li>Released on May 3, 2011. </li></ul>