Twitter Guesses: Why Few Young People Use Twitter

twitter-tweetTwitter is somehow more attractive to older people. Twittering public is more likely to be 45-54 years old rather than 18-24 years old. Based on respectful research, this news was quickly recognized as a fact rather than a speculation: Teens Don’t Tweet; Twitter’s Growth Not Fueled By YouthWho’s Driving Twitter’s Popularity? Not Teens .

Right after the data became known, we started guessing why Twitter is not patronized by young people: Why Teens Don’t Tweet, Why Adults Have Fed Twitter’s Growth.


One of the explanations was the timing of Twitter  – when Twitter became popular, teenagers already had other communication options. I tend to agree with Mahable’s suggestion  that Twitter is not serving main desire of an average teenager – to connect with friends. Twitter is more useful for following news topics, what has never been a focus of teenage life.


However, the most interesting question, I think, is our surprise that young people are not mesmerized by Twitter, and a need to explain this unexpected fact. Most likely, we are surprised because of our stereotypes, or previous experiences, or success formula lock-ins.

We seem to assume that young people are more likely to be using all new technologies. There is another assumption that young people are more knowledgeable about new technologies than older people. I believe this assumption is incorrect, even if I caught myself more than once thinking exactly the same.

My own “Twitter error” was quite embarrassing. A few months ago I heard about a new group in town – Social Media Breakfast .  I could not attend the meetings because of work, but when I finally had a chance… I felt uncomfortable… I was afraid to walk in the room of 20 year olds and feel as a lost grandmother… It was Social Media after all – a field for teenagers… However, my curiosity and interest for the field easily won over expected discomfort, and I showed up on the next event. To my surprise (and great relief!) the audience was full of people about my age. Yes, I saw young people, and I saw also older people; I saw some people I knew, I saw social media experts who were 10 years older than I, and I felt quite comfortable… Yes, I have not missed a single Social Media Breakfast since that first visit.

Why do we think that young people are more likely to adopt new technologies? 

Oh, yes, there is truth in this fact, but it is probably true very briefly, until the technology becomes known enough to attract its true users. These real users can benefit from the technology, rather then enjoy its brief novelty.

Henry Ford was fascinated by his mother’s sewing machine. My 22 year old male coworker in my native country was proudly using his family’s brand-new washing machine, fascinated by its sophistication. Do we really know many young men enjoying sewing or doing laundry?  Probably not…

More specific examples:
Thinking about any corporation – young people are not necessarily those who are PowerPoint experts or Excel experts. Young people do not know this software any better than the rest of us; however, those people who use this software for their work do, disregarding of age. Most of us probably come to that middle-age gentleman in finance with occasional Excel questions.

Twitter is just a tool; Twitter allows people to do certain thing and it will be the most appealing for people who like doing that “certain thing,” rather than just young people fascinated by novelty.

New social media platforms and technologies are spectacularly easy to use – we will probably see more tools adopted by a group of people with certain interests rather than age. I think it is wonderful; it is great for users, and very useful for marketers.

Social Media Breakfast at the Fair

Social-media-breakfastOK – I need to show up on the Social Media Breakfast with the device that allows participating in… social media 😉  We had quite interesting quiz, and I was right a few times!  Unfortunately, I could not twit the correct answer 😉  Next time… next time.

businesscard2One of the sponsors of the event introduced BusinessCard2  – an online form of a business card. I absolutely had to create my card , however, I am not sure how this new product would compete with LinkedIn, that already has most of the same information.

It is interesting to watch new web sites for creating business cards, online resumes, and online portfolios… My guess: LinkedIn smartly integrates other social networks (SlideShare, Blogs, documents, etc.) and can function as a “primary” resume/business card online. However, new, niche applications will probably continue to appear.

 Social-media-breakfast-mashAnother interesting note: though most professional job seekers are online, there is a difference between the places where specific demographic tend to look for a job. Younger demographic is more likely to start from Facebook – a more familiar social network than LinkedIn.

Though this event was fun and very appropriate for the Fair, I hope to see more traditional presentations or panels in the future.

World Wide Rave

World-Wide-RaveI was lucky to attend a webinar some time ago, where the author introduced the book. The webinar was very interesting and the book exceeded my expectations (even after reading other works of the author). The most inspiring part of the book, I think, is the wealth of examples from different industries, different target audiences, and unique approaches. These examples encourage the reader to think what can be done for the reader’s business… 

My notes from the book: 

World Wide Rave – positive reaction to something related to the company or its product
World Wide Rant – negative reaction to something related to the company or its product

6 Rules of Rave

  1. webinkinowNobody cares about your product(except you). Do not simply promote products – create something interesting that will spark a conversation online.
  2. No coercion required. If you create something worth sharing, people will share it.
  3. Lose control.Valuable online information should be free and easy to share.
  4. Put down roots.If you want your ideas to spread, you need to be involved in the online communities of people who actively share.
  5. Create triggers that encourage people to share. The success of certain content is impossible to predict – create enough “possibilities” for the World Wide Rave – think as venture capitalist
  6. Point the world to your (virtual) doorstep.Producing interesting content is better approach to SEO than technically optimizing site with boring content.

Other recommendations:

What slightly subversive (but not illegal or unethical) strategies, like encouraging people to use their mobile phones in a place where it is not normally allowed, can you use to trigger a World wide Rave? 

Never talk about your products and services again. Instead, focus on your buyer personas and how you can solve problems for them.

How can you push the envelope of what’s tried and true in your market?  The sex angle certainly isn’t for everyone, but are there other subjects you could incorporate in your efforts that others are too scared to talk about? 

You’ve got to think in terms of spreading ideas, not generating leads. A World wide Rave gets the world out to thousands or even millions of potential customers. But only if you make your content easy to find and consume.

Every company has something fascinating or unique or funny that can be turned into a video that people will want to share. You do, too. What’s that one thing that everyone who knows you comments about?  Build you video efforts around that.

Facebook applications are all about providing an interesting way for friends to connect and share valuable information. Your business probably lends itself to a entertaining or useful application, too.

Create a team and a process in advance and get internal preapprovals in place so that when a new trend breaks, you can respond very quickly. If you work for a nimble organization, and instant response to something in the news, a reaction to a change in regulations, or a clever piggyback off somebody else’s World wide Rave can be both fun and rewarding.

What proprietary data and metrics do you have that would be valuable to others? Publish them an offer them for free to generate a World Wide Rave.

Take a look at your site and find a link you can flip around. Measure the traffic before and after the switch and see which version works better. Perhaps your site includes a headline like this: “How to increase productivity and drive revenue.” Yawn. How many times have we all read something like that? How about this: “How to destabilize productivity, deter customers, and diminish revenue.” Now that’s likely to get some attention!

Great book!! Highly recommend!!  My guess it is already required in some university… 😉


groudswellAfter finishing the Groundswell book, I felt that I was the last person in the industry who read it… I heard so much about the book and even used POST concept in my own presentations for over a year. Now I can give a proper credit and express my admiration for the ideas in this wonderful work. 

The book has a very interesting classification of Groundswell technologies. I usually classified the technologies on the basis of their functionality (blogs/microblogs, video/images, bookmarking, and combination), I can now see that this classification is “backwards” it is based on the technology. The authors offer classification based on “how people use them and what they mean for you and your company.” groundswell-blog

  • People creating: blogs, user-generated content, and podcusts
  • People connecting: social networks and virtual worlds
  • People collaborating: wikis and open source
  • People reaching to each other: forums, ratings, and reviews
  • People organizing content: tags
  • Accelerating consumption: rss and widgets

However, the attempt to use Groundswell should not start from the technology…

 Evaluating new technology: evaluation should be based on relationships, rather than technology. “A tool that enables new relationships in new ways will catch on faster..”

  • Does it enable people to connect with each other in new ways?
  • Is it effortless to sign up for it?
  • Does it shift power from institutions to people?
  • Does the community generates enough content to sustain itself?
  • Is it an open platform that invites partnerships?

The social Technographics Profile is a very insightful tool


(the image represents results for my own demographic 😉  )

groundswell-siteThis is also the book that introduces the POST method that probably became ubiquitous in the industry’s conversations.

Exceptional book that was a pleasure to read!

Alphabet Bash 2009

Alphabet-BashThe Alphabet Bash  was as usually spectacular!  It was a unique opportunity to meet old industry friends and make need connections. The food exceeded all expectations!  The selection of desserts was beyond delicious…

This year registrations for the event exceeded 600, and at least 600 people came to Epic   for an evening of networking extravaganza. The event continues to grow, and will hopefully include more professional associations, more sponsors, and more attendees next year. 

I learned something interesting: I met a person who helps companies with their strategy for trade shows and events. She mentioned that many organizations can not articulate without help what exactly they want to accomplish. They know that they want “leads,” what is not enough for a successful event. I thought that even wanting “leads” was a giant step forward from what I often faced as an interactive marketer – people wanting “just a Web site.” Struggle to connect a business strategy with marketing tactics seems to be a universal phenomenon…  😉


Thanks to Greg Swan for posting a dessert picture on Flikr – next year I will approach the dessert table armed not only with a fork but also with a camera…

Minneapolis – St. Paul Marketing Recruiters and Job Postings

Dear friends, after sending a few e-mails with local recruiting agencies in marketing (interactive marketing) area, I thought it is better to collect the resources in one location. 😉  Please tell me if I forgot something that can be useful to all of us – I will be happy to add it for the next friend who might be looking for a job…

Minneapolis – St. Paul marketing staffing agencies:

antena Antenna specializes in providing senior level marketing leaders and mid-level marketing staff on an interim and permanent basis. In working with candidates, Antenna’s role extends well beyond a single placement to helping people develop their talent and succeed in the long term.
aquent Aquent – national temporary recruiting organization with presence in Twin Cities
celarity Celarity – Celarity works with martketing, communications, interactive and creative professionals who want to explore new work opportunities and get connected to who’s hiring. Celarity matches professionals with contract assignments, freelance projects and full time job opportunities.
creatis Creatis – Minneapolis recruiting organization with a studio that has additional opportunities
creative-group Creative Group – permanent and temporary recruiting (note: permanent and temporary parts are separate; it is important to clarify what you want)
DAHL Consulting
digital-people Digital people
horizontal-integration Horizontal Integration – recruiting organization and an agency at the same time – range of opportunities for interactive marketers (however, all marketers are welcome)
itr-group ITR group – recruiting organization and also mobile marketing company
ivisionHR iVisionHR – though the company’s web site is targeted to employers, the candidates can contact “the right person” Karla Borgendale directly at 763-300-5472
or karla @
McKinleyGroup McKinley Group – Marketing
mergis The Mergis Group – national recruiting organization with an office in the downtown Minneapolis; the company recruits a wide range of professionals, including marketing

Local prominent recruiters

pat Pat O’Donnell If you have not sent your resume to Pat, do it 😉

LinkedIn groups specific for Minneapolis – St. Paul area – featuring local jobs in interactive marketing

i612 i612: Minneapolis-Saint Paul Area Interactive Media Community
interactive-women Minnesota Interactive Women’s Association

Search engines

indeed– job search engine, which aggregatesjob postings from many locations
linkup – job search engine, which aggregates job postings from corporate web sites specifically

Anything needs to be added?

Nonprofits and Social Media

nonprofits-social-mediaQuite interesting panel of social media practitioners working for non-profits (Social Media Breakfast 17) concluded that right now… “we are still learning.”

Points from the discussion:

  • Some organizations reach the same audience through social media and use it as a different channel of communication. Others, however, are reaching different audience (usually younger or not local).
  • No good practice yet on managing local/national brunches of the organization (one Twitter account, or one per location, or one per […]?)
  • Fundraising: online is a good channel for low-level donations.
  • nonprofit-technology-networGetting an organization’s leadership on-board with social media might be difficult. In a political office, giving a camera to the politician was successful. However, “over-analyzing” can lead to delays… for one organization, thinking too long about setting a page on MySpace resulted to a lost MySpace opportunity; while the decision was discussed Facebook replaced MySpace as the most attractive channel.
  • Nonprofit organizations have the same concerns as for-profit organizations about social media. Nonprofits worry about message control and may not consider the new channel as anything more than a fleeting fad. However, the response is the same: the conversation is already happening… are we willing to join?
  • Separating (or not separating?) personal and organizational brand is still in discussion. The brand is often merged… but the leadership of the organization should be supportive. From personal perspective: maybe better to have a personal account? “Do you want your own brand to be what your job is?” However, the blurring is happening in practice.
  • Social-media-in-Twin-CitiesIdea for promotions of non-profits in social media “20 things you may not know about [….your organization…]”
  • An emphasis on making sure that channels/technologies need to be appropriate for the target audience (MySpace is used by African-American community, teenagers like texting).
  • If the organization has different brunches, sharing successes in social media can be effective (the channel is changing quickly)
  • Accessibility should be important for nonprofits: not everybody might have access to latest technology – the services might need to be duplicated via other channels.
  • Twitern (twittering intern) position – do not give somebody temporary manage you social media strategy
  • What is difference between nonprofit and for-profit organizations? Nonprofits are generally less controversial “everybody loves libraries!”  The motivation behind becoming  a fan of a nonprofit on Facebook might be different; a person might want to be seen by friends as a supported of a certain cause.
  • Some non-profit social media successes: library created a social catalog allowing commenting on the books and creating a reader profile, surprising success from fundraising through causes Facebook page, giving congressman a flip camera (camera is used, content is interesting for the voters). 


Kay Roseland took a few wonderful pictures from the event   one of which I used. However, I need to learn to smile when I happen to be among those who are photographed  😉