Trends and demographics are important in many contexts.  Social media is one context in which trends and demographics are especially important.  Not understanding this area has the potential to harm you personally and professionally.  Your company’s awareness, advertising, marketing, public relations, and growth potential can suffer.

Reflecting on 2013, Belle Beth Cooper (cofounder of Hello Code and a content crafter with Buffer) assembled a rich and fascinating collection of statistics that help us stay ahead of the curve with social media.  For some, it might even be a wakeup call.  Cooper cites:

The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55–64 year age bracket.

Not only is that segment the fastest growing, but also in the past year on Twitter it has grown 79%.  Cooper further explains that on Facebook and Google+:

the 45–54 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic.

Those numbers represent a 46% jump for the group on Facebook and 56% on Google+.  These trends are amazing and powerful.  Here are my thoughts:

Understand The Times.  The times are not only what is happening in your backyard or your office.  The times include this entire world of the Internet with all its social media and connectivity.  While I do understand different people and companies have different needs and preferences, my contention is people and organizations rob themselves of tremendous opportunities and benefits when they ignore social media.  They truly need to understand the times because they are living in them.

The Generational River Never Stops Flowing.  Today’s babies are tomorrow’s leaders.  Those who were once babies are now baby boomers (like me).  Some of those baby boomers have embraced the online world while others are just getting started.  Still others have adopted a self-imposed prohibition against the online world, claiming you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.  The good news is that increasing numbers of the older generations are moving online for a variety of reasons.  Let us continuously embrace and support that trend because that river will never stop flowing.

Lifelong Learning.  The very fact that so many older demographic segments are increasingly engaging social media speaks of a commitment to lifelong learning.  That is one of the very best commitments one can ever hold.  We are all aware of numerous studies that correlate a purposeless life with a downward trajectory.  Everyone comes out farther ahead when we maintain a lifelong learning commitment.  Learning is an integral part of maintaining a purposeful life.  Diving into social media is just one part of that lifelong learning that we should all enjoy.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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