TweetChats #socialmedia

06/17/2009

Social media tweet chat Add one more virtual place to network to your list .. TweetChats. Oh no! girlfriend you might be thinking not another social media thing to add to my running list .. and what is a tweetchat anyway?

Anita Campbell, Small Business Trends, has a great definition.

  • A tweetchat is simply an organized group chat that takes place using the Twitter platform. Participants use an assigned hashtag (say, #sbbuzz) for their tweets during the discussion.

When Marc Meyer asked me to host one of the most popular Tweetchats this week I said .. of course! Held weekly, Tuesdays from noon - 1p,  #socialmedia explores issues about social media marketing.  The focus this week was on the "hidden demographics" of social media like bebe boomers, women etc. etc. etc.  Title: Deciding the “now what” and the “who with” of social media in your company.

The exchange of ideas was fast, furious, exciting .. and the people .. so smart. Moderating was like running a race while juggling 50 balls in the air. Although #socialmedia is structured around 3 20-minute segments each with a unique question,  it was fascinating to watch the sidebar conversations occurring simultaneously.  The questions:

#1. What demographics are most powerful in each of the top social networks? And Why?
#2. Which demographics are most overlooked, ignored, or taken for granted, in the top tier social networks? Why?
#3. With the increase of social media usage, which demographics will drive innovation in social networking?

I found that our conversation didn't really follow the progression of the questions as much as some other tweetchats might have; but the discussion happened naturally on its own accord. With tosses of a pink boa to the amazing people who generously shared their opinions and experience and to Marc Meyer and Jason Breed the sponsors .. here are my takes of the highlights.

Boomers

The Baby Boomer generation maybe late in getting to this party but according to comScore there are about 16.5 million adults ages 55 and older engaged in social networking.

@conniereece - All I can say is that marketers need 2 wake up 2 how many boomers R online & how they use socnets. Connie thinks that boomers are the "lost demo" and not only for profits but nonprofits are missing opportunities.

Even in this economy, Boomers have more $ to spend then the X-Yers. Note to brand marketers (and main stream media): Take off your cool shades the internet and social networks are Not only for the "youngsters."

The challenge for brands per @CBWhittemore is to make it .." relevant to baby boomers & others b/c new marketplace imperatives."

The challenge for people who have not grown up with new technologies is understanding how to use the tools. A wrong click will not necessarily bring down the Internet or explode your computer. On a personal level @evelynso shared a great idea .. that might help grandparents have an ah ha! moment. Think of  Flickr or Facebook as a global grandkids brag book.  You get to share those cute photos of your precious darlings with your closet Friends; and if you wish some you might not know yet.

When it comes to How generations use social media platforms we noticed a few differences. - seniors/ Boomers have a different $ management style. Check alternatives - sometimes SM is cheaper & faster. From  @evelynso and @marc_meyers - boomers share content Gen Y shares the intimate details of their lives.

Where are the Boomers hangin' out? Consensus seems to be on Facebook. Very few boomer friends (male or female) on Twitter. For @conniereece - Lots on FB now, and a few on LinkedIn.  @sonnygill thinks that - demos on the more established networks are wider ranged than Twitter is (namely boomers).

Wondering ... will we see a change as Gen Y's and Millenniums' careers shift into management levels and the Boomers become more comfortable with open conversations? Also will Boomers leaving the work force (those that can afford to do so!) result in more transparency in their social media interactions? In other words will the cultures flip-flop?

Gen Y

When it came to Gen Y we thought they were tech savvy but lacking in social media marketing, strategy expertise. @CathyWebSavvyPR - I've heard from some college students that SM is a part of social life, they can't see applications. That was my experience too when I presented social media marketing to an advertising class at UGA.

When it comes to Twitter - @dcgf - I think it's Gen Y who are not very "savvy" w/Twitter. The movers and shakers on here are older...However @CathyWebSavvyPR believes that - I think Gen x/Y will once they begin entering the workforce & needing to use SM. their learning curve may B shorter 

Can Social Media Close the Generation Gap?

Example of one of the sidebar tweet conversations

>At the risk of making assumptions, I'd hazard to say that the ave age of THIS "unConference" is over 35! (don't hate-ha) - @dcgf
>@dcgf as an Mil-gen are you comfortable engaging with the 'older' peeps on twitter? @dcgf could social media be the way to close the generation gap? - @tobydiva
>def closes gen gap and @Mark_Meyer I think all gen's want to feel like they're being engaged on a personal level - @dcgf

Women

We wondered where women were hanging out online and if they were using social media diffently than men. Most of our tweets were based on observation and personal experience. @Verbatim told us that  - Research shows men preferring Twitter and women, FB. Which makes sense to me, FB being more personal details.

@conniereece in regard to Twitter - if you look at *what* men/women post on Twitter, it's different. Women more likely to share, men to broadcast. #socialmedia (generalization). Seems that a guy agrees with Connie - @marc_meyer men generalize and women socialize...?

Tweets were not all serious we had some giggles along the way. @wpmc - Saw a book on communications "Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti" - Facebook is like spaghetti.

@CathyWebSavvyPR brought out an interesting point that brands should consider when using Facebook to reach women.  - I know many women feel that FB is for freinds & family & resent the intrusion of business there. others like it.

Social Media Marketing

We also talked about what is social media? @greenhance offered an interesting concept - Altho I've no proof, I think SM adoption is personality driven. Some are more likely to use Twitter, others FB, etc.

@marc_meyer looked at in from this point of view - Twitter is 4 biz Linkedin is 4 networking, FB is the playground, or something like that. any1 remember the analogy?

When it comes right down to it people agreed with @ddeseta - It's not about the most followers. It's about having the most relevance within yoursphere. and with @mrochte  - It's about convening not controlling #SocialMedia " - that's the message we need to understand  http://on.ted.com/y  mrochte

When it came down to what to make of the "hidden demographics" @greenhance reminded us - Brands can cultivate real loyalty with SM in a way that was previously limited by geography/reach.  Social media is one aspect of marketingmarketing basics.

To wrap this up it's back to marketing basics - know who your customers are/where they hang out/what they want. @tobydiva Be careful of what you think you know..  your truth might be an illusion.

Resources

Tweet Stream


Business Week Social Media Gender Gap
Pew Internet has extensive stats on social media
Forrester Social Technology Profile ToolJohn Cass for the link!

Blogher 2009 Women and Social Media Study

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Comments

This is a great capture of our discussion, thank you so much!

I have been brewing some ideas re how to enhance generational relationship via social media. The current observation is that "kids" are on SM and parents are not, or "kids" move away from a social network when parents start joining. In a sense that's quite the norm when it comes to teenager/parent complex relationship, but I see ways to not only bridge the gap but leverage social media to improve understanding and communication across 2 or even 3 generations.

As many focus on the business or social aspect of social media, it's time to think - we have some great stuff going here, what else can we do with it?

Evelyn

Posted by: Evelyn So on Jun 18, 2009 12:50:23 AM

Toby, as usual, absolutely OUTSTANDING! I hate that I got into the chat late, but I learned so much in those few minutes and really appreciate your recapturing it all here. I am in awe over all of the insights. I find that, particularly if we use these tools heavily, that we get so immersed that we don't get a chance to see the patterns. This tweetchat was one of those opportunities to step back and observe the ebb & flow of behaviors. Plus I got to take part in a Tweet Chat. Thank you, gracious Diva Toby! CB

Posted by: C.B. Whittemore on Jun 18, 2009 9:10:39 AM

Social media is the best way of social networking for productive as well as effective results.

Posted by: Dentists in Bradford on Jun 19, 2009 3:38:26 AM

I didn't know you could have private chats with Twitter. What a brilliant way to harness the power of small!

Posted by: Rhys on Jun 19, 2009 5:36:24 PM

great article post...i am also a member of twitter and its really cool specially in social marketing..more updates, followers,and i dont know yet the private chat on twitter..but pretty cool..

Posted by: Oxzen Media on Jun 22, 2009 8:08:17 AM

Hi! I think Twitter is really one of the effective ways to sell your business. With thousands of members (your potential customers) that may read your profile and click links to your site, surely, your business will be a HUGE success. Through Twitter, you can advertise your business for FREE while having FUN. Btw, thanks for your post! I think "Twitter Cash Formula" will be really helpful especially to beginners who want to take the opportunity to earn FAST CASH through tweeting.

Keep on posting!:")

Posted by: Marcy on Jul 26, 2009 7:55:30 AM

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