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Studies Show All Ages Network Online

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I’ve recently been approached by several large real estate company recruiters asking for my advice on how I would go about recruiting talent.

I’ve been asked this before, and my response has become pretty refined. Being a tech guy, the conversation usually goes to blogging, social networking and search engine optimization.

Uh Oh

When I talk about social networking, nine out of ten times, I hit the roadblock of “that’s for kids”. I always hate hearing this. I’ll admit, Jay and Bill don’t act their age, but social networks are for kids? Come on, grow up!

Finally, along came AARP (who I am looking forward to joining someday) who did a great study about social networks amongst “older” Americans.

Silly Rabbit, Social Networks AREN’T Just for Kids

My favorite part is the finding that “Among internet users 50+ who are members of online communities, 58% log in to their online community daily or several times a day, compared with 47% of members under 20”

Hmm, just for kids? I guess not.

Another point I found interesting involved the 70+ year old crowd:

46% of users under 50 say the internet is important or very important in maintaining their social relationships – identical to the percentage for those over 70

Thank you Jeffrey I. Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School for Communication for summing this up so nicely for us:

In specific areas, there is often little difference in use of online technology between older users and some of the youngest users.

So the next time you, young or young-at-heart, are told that online social networks are for kids, feel free to shed some light on the truth. Heck, invite your grandparents to friend you on Facebook!

Nick runs a new media marketing consulting company helping real estate professionals learn how to implement new media tools into their marketing arsenal. He frequently gives presentations on generational marketing, green marketing and advanced online promotion. Nick is active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Eric Blackwell

    August 5, 2008 at 6:04 am

    This is a solid point Nick.

    Several years ago, a local old folks home asked me to provide a bid for wiring their entire campus of assisted living communities. I asked them what was driving their decision to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to do this. The answer? Two words.

    Consumer demand.

    Something I have never forgotten.

    Eric

  2. Glenn fm Naples

    August 5, 2008 at 6:04 am

    NIck – very interesting statistics. I never would have thought social networks are frequented by the 50+ group. At 60 years old (a true fact), I was thinking the social networks are for the younger generations – so this was very eye opening for me.

    Now I just to have other people that want to socialize that aren’t real estate agents. LOL

    When I look at my friends on the social network sites – it is mostly real estate agents!

  3. Mike Taylor

    August 5, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Who knew??? I would have NEVER guessed this to be true. I guess that is what you get for making assumptions about people. Thanks for the eye opening data.

  4. Jennifer in Louisville

    August 5, 2008 at 7:02 am

    I’d be curious to see what the break down is on a state by state basis – cause I’d bet that my area is WAY lower than those figures. I still have a fair amount of clients that don’t even have email.

    Mark Twain once said: “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky because it’s always twenty years behind the times”.

  5. Jim Duncan

    August 5, 2008 at 7:10 am

    The trends are not necessarily generational as much as they are a reflection of those who are embracing information and technology – the young ‘uns don’t have a monopoly on that. I’d also argue that the “older” ones may be more inclined to see the business value in social networks and the internets as they have less free time to waste.

  6. Jay Thompson

    August 5, 2008 at 9:40 am

    “I’ll admit, Jay and Bill don’t act their age…”

    I have a wife and two teenagers that would agree 110% with that statement…..

    My mother, at 74, recently asked me if she should get a Facebook account. She hasn’t, yet, but sees it as a way to stay in touch with her grandkids (and kids).

  7. Bill Lublin

    August 5, 2008 at 10:21 am

    “I’ll admit, Jay and Bill don’t act their age…” Dude – I don’t even act your age!

    Oddly enough, I think that the functionality of the social netwrok has a lot to do with the usage, MySpace was a non-starter for me – for my son and his friends who are in the entertainment industry – it was better, but still not the winner facebook became because of the increased functionality and ability to interact with others in a variety of manners from messaging to sharing photos, joining groups and playing games – As the Social Networks become more flexible and reflective of our natural inclinations in interaction, more people came to play and to stay
    Great Post ! 😉

  8. Jeff Bernheisel

    August 5, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Hey Nick,

    Good find…

    I’ve been helping my brother in law setup a basic blog for his reverse mortgage business. We’ve gotten a lot of negative attitude from others in his office saying his target demographic isn’t going to be looking online. Obviously I disagree… This article backs what I’ve been telling them for a couple months now. (I’ve already forwarded it to them)

    His blog is getting traffic, wether its his target demo or not, people are searching for reverse mortgages online and reading his blog. (average time on his site is over 6 minutes) It’s only 2 months old, but it’s just a matter of time before he starts getting deals from it.

    -Jeff

  9. Rod Rebello

    August 5, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    I maintain my 80+ yr old parents computer and internet service. Believe me, I get an earful when either are not working!

  10. Nick Bostic

    August 5, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    @Eric – There’s been a couple of new retirement communities built near me and one of the biggest points on their signs is “High speed internet provided!”

    @Glenn – I hear you on the real estate agents as online friends point. That’s why about once every other week I go onto TwitterLocal to find people who are just near me geographically, not in my line of work. I find sometimes you just have to force yourself to go look elsewhere.

    @Mike – I’ve been waiting for a study like this. My 80+ year old grandfather has been coding web sites for a few years now and loves his email. I figured he couldn’t be the only one 🙂

    @Jennifer – That Twain quotation has always intrigued me, I need to get out your way one of these days.

    @Jim – Not totally sure about the “less free time to waste” comment since I see how many hours I work and those “older” generations are getting into retirement 🙂 But I think maybe since they didn’t grow up in front of computers, the fun/tolerance is different from those of us who did.

    @Jay – My mom knows the easiest & quickest way to get in touch with me is via a text message, so she was forced to learn.

    @Bill – I have always hated MySpace with a passion, but you’re right about industries, several friends who are in bands have had great exposure on there.

    @Jeff – Glad I was able to dig up some research to help! Also happy to see you’re not just concerned about hits and are tracking a more important metric like time on site.

    @Rob – You’ve turned them into addicts! 🙂

  11. Eric Blackwell

    August 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Hey jennifer;

    That old folks home I was talking about was the Masonic Home in Louisville Kentucky!!! Not sure Mark Twain was accurate there! (grin)

    Eric

  12. Dan Connolly

    August 5, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    When I signed up for StumbleUpon I entered my age (56). I was automatically labeled “old guy from Atlanta GA” WTF? I said, I don’t feel like an old guy, so I made my age private. Really for me Facebook and Linkedin seem like they are primarily for corporate types or recent college grads looking for work or dates. Maybe there is something there I am missing. Does anyone get RE clients from these sites? Is there any SEO value in having a bunch of friends?

  13. Jamey Bridges

    August 5, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Nick, the graph is great, glad they could put that information together to share (Fight On!).
    I don’t know if they have a graph by age groups and the networks they are most active on. It seems that more professional marketed networks like LinkedIn and Facebook seem to have a different demographic concentration than say MySpace. I think each one certainly serves a niche though so it would definitely be important not to ignore them.

  14. LDG in London

    August 5, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    It’s a good job that we have got the silver surfers.. they are the only ones who still have faith in property. We have noticed a distinct lack of under 35’s since the recent property slow down began.

    The old folks understand the long term nature of the property investment cycle and having seen it last time around they want everything in place for when things get going again.

  15. msWoods Indianapolis Real Estate

    December 7, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Have any of you had much success finding clients with any of the social networks like Facebook? Do you actually use them for business?

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Social Media

If you’re not on Clubhouse, you’re missing out – here’s why

(SOCIAL MEDIA) What exactly is Clubhouse, and why is it the quarantine app sensation? There’s a few reasons you should definitely be checking out right now!

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Clubhouse member hanging out on the app, on a couch with mask on their face.

The new exclusive app Clubhouse is challenging what social media can be – and it might possibly be the best thing to blow up during quarantine.

Developed by ex-Google employee Rohan Seth and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Paul Davison, Clubhouse has only been gaining in popularity since lockdown. Here’s why you need to join immediately:

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is like if subreddit pages were live podcasts. Or maybe if niche, topic-centric Zoom chatrooms could connect you with people from all over the world. But it’s ONLY audio, making it perfect for this period of lockdown where no one truly looks their best.

From networking events to heated debates about arts and culture to book clubs, you can truly find anything you want on Clubhouse. And if you don’t see a room that peaks your interest, you can make one yourself.

Why is it special?

Here’s my hot take: Clubhouse is democratizing the podcast process. When you enter a room for women entrepreneurs in [insert your industry], you not only hear from the established experts, but you’ll also have a chance to listen to up-and-coming users with great questions. And, if you want, you can request to speak as well.

If you click anyone’s icon, you can see their bio and links to their Instagram, Twitter, etc. For professionals looking to network in a deeper way, Clubhouse is making it easier to find up and coming creatives.

If you’re not necessarily looking to network, there’s still so much niche material to discover on the app. Recently, I spent an hour on Clubhouse listening to users discuss the differences in American and British street fashion. It got heated, but I learned A LOT.

The celebrities!

Did I mention there’s a TON of celebrities on the app? Tiffany Haddish, Virgil Abloh, and Lakeith Stanfield are regulars in rooms – and often host scheduled events. The proximity to all kinds of people, including the famous, is definitely a huge draw.

How do you get on?

Anyone with an iPhone can make an account, but as of now you need to be “nominated” by someone in your contacts who is already on the app. Think Google+ but cooler.

With lockdown giving us so much free time that our podcasts and shows can’t keep up with the demand, Clubhouse is a self-sustaining content mecca. Rooms often go on for days, as users in later time zones will pick up where others left off when they need to get some sleep. And the cycle continues.

Though I’m still wrapping my brain around it, I can say with fair certainty that Clubhouse is very, very exciting. If you have an hour (or 24) to spare, try it out for yourself – I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

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TikTok: A hotbed of cultural appropriation, and why it matters

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Gen Z’s favorite app TikTok is the modern epicenter for cultural appropriation – why you as a business owner should care.

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TikTok creator with a phone recording on a stand, but dances can be a sign of cultural appropriation.

Quarantine has been the catalyst for a sleuth of new cultural phenomena – Tiger King, Zoom, and baking addictions, to name a few. Perhaps most notably, TikTok has seen user numbers skyrocket since lockdown. And I don’t think those numbers are going down any time soon.

TikTok is a very special place. More so than any other social media apps I’ve engaged with, TikTok feels like a true community where total strangers can use the app’s duet or audio features to interact in creative, collaborative ways.

However, being able to use another user’s original audio or replicate their dance has highlighted the prevalence of cultural appropriation on TikTok: the app, as wholesome as it may be at times, has also become a hot bed for “virtual blackface”.

The most notable example of appropriation has to do with the Renegade dance and Charli D’Amelio – who is young, White, and arguably the most famous TikTok influencer (she is second only to Addison Rae, who is also White). The dance, originally created by 14-year-old Black user Jalaiah Harmon, essentially paved the way for D’Amelio’s fame and financial success (her net worth is estimated to be $8 million).

Only after Twitter backlash did D’Amelio credit Harmon as the original creator of the dance to which she owes her wealth – up until that point, the assumption was the dance was hers.

There is indeed a myriad of exploitative and appropriative examples of TikTok videos. Some of the most cringe-worthy include White users pantomiming black audio, in many cases affecting AAVE (African American Vernacular English). Styles of dance and music that were pioneered by Black artists have now been colonized by White users – and many TikTokers are not made aware of their cultural origins.

And what’s worse: TikTok’s algorithms favor White users, meaning White-washed iterations of videos tend to get more views, more engagement and, subsequently, more financial gains for the creator.

As you can imagine, TikTok’s Black community is up in arms. But don’t take it from me (a non-Black individual) – log onto the app and listen to what Black users have to say about cultural appropriation for yourself.

Still, the app is one of the fastest growing. Companies are finding creative ways to weave their paid ads and more subliminal marketing strategies into the fabric of the ‘For You’ page. In many ways, TikTok is the next frontier in social media marketing.

With a few relevant locational hashtags and some innovative approaches to advertising, your business could get some serious FREE attention on TikTok. In fact, it’s the future.

As aware and socially conscious small business owners, we need to make sure that while we are using the app to get ours, that the Black creators and artists who made the app what it is today are also getting theirs. Anything short of direct accountability for the platform and for caustic White users would be offensive.

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Promoted tweets getting over-promoted? Time for Twitter backlash

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter has enacted changes to how frequently Promoted Tweets – i.e., ads – are seen by users, and in true Twitter fashion, there’s mixed opinions.

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Smartphone open to Twitter with promoted tweets open on the top of the feed.

Did anyone else ever watch the Strong Bad Emails cartoons from Homestarrunner? One of the running gags there – and subsequently one of my favorite bits – was when he’d just delete a fan’s email outright while insulting the author. Strong Bad was great at laying down the delete hammer and had zero cares in the world about doing it.

The idea that you – as a user, person, entity – can reclaim a little bit of omniscient authority is powerful. Generally, we like being in control of our lives, and the ability to exercise that authority resonates deeply.

Digital companies are still coming to terms with the idea that their users maintain some ability to revolt against their new policies, trying to straddle the line between new features and improved tools while still keeping an existing audience happy. Typing “hate the new” into Google will show results solely around new interfaces and an endless string of abhorrence. The new Facebook layout is bad. The new Gmail is bad and here’s how to revert it.

I’m sure others exist for any widely used app or service. Sometimes even new logos incite rage. I’m not here to make a statement either way, but usually there’s some ground in between pure opinion and justifiable discussions about user interface and experience. Regardless, change can make users upset.

Twitter recently rolled out changes to how Promoted Tweets work. You should know first that a promoted tweet is just an ad, and were originally set to appear only once per timeline. However, recent updates to Twitter’s internal services has resulted in some users reporting the same ad being shown multiple times in rapid succession, and even repeatedly over and over.

Think about Google search results – there are definitely ads at the top of the first page, and they are usually relevant to the topic at hand and only show up in that area. A user can quickly scroll downward past this and look through other results. But imagine how frustrating it might be to have a first page riddled primarily with ads, effectively choking out other results.

Twitter maintains that, “we’re thoughtful in how we display Promoted Tweets, and are conservative about the number of Promoted Tweets that people see in a single day.” This has led some users to believing this behavior indicates some kind of issue with their internal systems. I like to think about the scene in Office Space where Michael Bolton (not the singer) mentions that he may have put a decimal in the wrong place; that is, there’s a configuration error at Twitter instead of some kind of sea change.

However, Twitter has said this is not a glitch. In fact, they stated it was intentional, and further clarified that, “We regularly experiment and deploy changes to our advertising experience. We are constantly innovating and testing, and will continue to adapt as we learn.” Despite worldwide complaints, Twitter has not officially acknowledged this situation as problematic.

As a result, many users have taken to blocking the advertisers involved with the Promoted Tweets. Much like Strong Bad exercising his ultimate authority over his domain, this means that companies are in danger of losing their ability to reach users entirely. As this number grows, the consequences could widespread, and it will be interesting to see if Twitter changes their outlook and/or has potential pressure from advertisers. Twitter has stated that this may simply be temporary to exhaust a surplus of ad inventory, and this remains to be seen.

As users continue to voice their complaints, it will be interesting to see how the situation ultimately resolves.

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