At times like this I love to say, “I told you so!”  Those of you who have been reading my blogs and/or have attended one of my workshops will NOT be shocked by this news. Social Media use within the 50+ demographic has nearly doubled according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.  In April of 2009 just 22% of the 50+ demo were using sites such as Facebook – in May of 2010 that jumped to 42%.  In the 50 – 64 demographic 47% are using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

The results I obtained through the research I conducted for the University of Texas – Dallas Ph.D. program for the School of Arts and Technology were also reinforced by this study.  “Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users,” said Mary Madden author of the Pew report. “Email is still the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, but many older users now rely on social media platforms to help manage their daily communications.”

This proves that Social Media is NOT all about 18-24 year-olds.  You have to:

1) Develop an Integrated Marketing Strategy.  How are you going to bring together your “traditional” marketing channels (TV, Radio, and Print) and these “new” digital marketing channels (SEO, PPC and Social Media)?

2) Think about WHO is going to “quarterback” your marketing department or company down the digital field – a “walk-on” quarterback from a Division II school OR an All-Pro who knows what it takes to find your target customer and make your cash register ring.

I’m sure there are marketers with a few grey hairs that have experiences similar to mine. I’ve been involved with eCommerce since the early days of the Internet.  I’m certified in SEO and Social Media Strategy.  I’ve seen CRM evolve from a mailing list for postcards and coupons to psychographic databases for targeted digital inserts.

I’m sure there are CFOs that started with a ledger book and a calculator who are now using complex back office software programs to balance the books.

We have a saying here in Texas, “Fish where the fish are!” Make sure you have an experienced “fishing guide” to teach you the right bait to use.  Look for someone who “has been there, doing that.”

That’s the News
From Clint Hughes