Earlier this week, I had an opportunity to run the social media strategy game with senior program staff at the Packard Foundation. I used the same fictional organization, the Earth Worm Sustainability Network, as I used in the Network Effectiveness Grantee Convening back in May.
This is the first time I ran it for people all from the same organization, with a limited amount of time, and mix of experience. I am feeling an urge to tinker again with the cards and formats, more specifically to add cards for listening/engagement on social networks. Using it an internal training, it is important to have someone with hands-on experience in each group and this spreads the organizational learning.
I was also reminded by one very smart colleague that the Twitter audience card had out-of-date information. It was from April, 2008! At that time, the audience skewed younger. In the last few months, Twitter has become more popular with old people.
The definition of "old people" is pretty broad and is often used to describe both the 35-54 age segment and over age 55 segment, particularly with studies that examine the increase of "older users" on social network sites. I'm in the 35-54 segment, so after asking where my rocker is on twitter, Howard Rheingold quipped, that he must be "very old," but would much prefer the label geezer. I guess that makes me a pre-geezer.
Meanwhile, yesterday Mashable reported that "Tweets Don't Tweet"
If you’re under 25 and use Twitter, you’re not the source of the site’s tremendous growth. While we recently questioned the findings of a largely anecdotal report from Morgan Stanley written by a 15 year old, Nielsen has now produced figures that confirm the trend: young people don’t Tweet.
The Mashable blog raised the question, "Why don't they tweet?" (Be sure to read Dannah Boyd's take on the research)
Yesterday, I had an opportunity to ask about 100 teens attending the Asian Liver Center's Youth Leadership Conference on Asian and Pacific Islander Health this question directly. The results are in the video above. The majority of folks in the room were between the ages of 16-18 and it those who feel Twitter is creepy, lame, stupid, and a waste. "Twitter is where the stalkers are." They prefer Facebook because it is easier to make friends. The college students in the room, however, disagreed. They felt it was useful for keeping in touch with friends. (See Zephoria's analysis of the "Teens Don't Tweet" research)
I was invited to present to this group about how nonprofits were using social media effectively. These young people consist of the most talented and enthusiastic high school students from around the country who were brought together on the Stanford campus to learn about the figut against hepatitis B (HBV), scientific and epidemic aspects of the disease to strategies of outreach and education. They were working together in teams to apply their knowledge to design an outreach event that also incorporated social media.
After the presentation, I got asked some terrific questions as these younger leaders of tommorrow grappled with adding social media to their outreach plan. I invited them all to join my fan page or rather focus group so we could continue the conversation. I got to meet some great folks like Amy Yu and Chrstine Li.
How does knowing more about the demographics of Twitter users shape your social media strategy?