Recently, my daughter matter-of-factly suggested Facebook was dying. OMG, is she crazy, I thought? Given that she is an honors marketing student at Indiana University, and a member of The Facebook Generation, I tend to pay attention to what she has to say about this arena where I focus my business efforts.
Ali is noticing a significant drop in Facebook activity among her peers. Naturally, I carried my research a bit further to my son Zak, who will begin his studies in marketing this year at The Ohio State University. Is is true what Ali is saying, I asked?
Yes indeed, he acknowledged. But where are you guys going to be hanging out, I wondered? We all know that teens are texting with a vengeance. My phone bill indicates Zak creates 150 – 200 texts EVERY DAY! If you figure each text requires an investment of 10 seconds, that's about 4 hours of texting every week.
Where is Everyone Going to Hang Out?
Just as you and I don't hang out with email, teens and young adults don't consider texting to be a community. Upon further probing, I learned that YouTube is where they are subscribing for content. Hmm…
Zak showed me how I can go to my YouTube channel and click through the videos of those that I subscribe to. Until now, I pretty much accepted those invites and then moved on. If you are like me, you really don't consider YouTube to be a social network. It feels more like a marketing platform.
As you can infer, anywhere on the social Web where you are delivering a message is a community. This is a mindset that we all need to get more comfortable with. A few weeks ago Flickr upgraded their site; and I strongly believe this will encourage more community engagement and growth for that network.
Blogs are clearly the primary source of content in the business world. Nevertheless, communities such as Flickr and YouTube deserve more of your attention, especially if the demographic you are targeting is youthful. I have no idea if that is Gen X, Y, or Z. I just know that I am older than all of them and need to learn more!
When you consider your activities this past 4th of July holiday weekend (for those of you in the United States), you will realize that images and video are the primary content that you shared. That sharing typically starts with other communities like YouTube and Flickr before it gets pushed to Facebook or your blog.
Spread Your Wings
All I am suggesting is that it is easy to lose sight of the fact that there are micro-trends developing that may affect the reach and influence of your social networking and marketing. Maybe now is a good time to spread your wings.
Regardless of the community you serve, we all need a nudge once in a while to get out of our comfort zone – especially if you are seeking to reach an emerging, youthful demographic.
I'm fond of saying that there is no right way with social media. What matters is what is right for your business.
I don't know about you, but I'm going to spend a little more time getting familiar with the new functionality over at YouTube. That's right, just as with Flickr, YouTube is encouraging more engagement among their viewers. And this is why I'll be paying more attention to those that want to friend me and subscribe to my videos. Why?
It just may be the next happening place that connects me with my future customers.
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Here's to the future of your small business, and a great week ahead! Jeff
Photo Credit: jonsson