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March 28, 2009


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Excellent information! I'd like very much to reference this link in my b2b blog as well as posting a link to it on my twitter.

I will do my best to get my clients and my active prospects to read it too (and follow the recommended feeds).

Thanks! - Billy Mitchell, MLT Creative, ATL GA

Good post. I blogged about this recently, too, here: http://tinyurl.com/dknpwt. I'm glad you went a step further and helped new folks with some tips on how to get started.

It's frustrating to hear people talk about this new technology and immediately write it off as being stupid or a fad. I suppose they would have said the same thing about radio and TV -- and we all know how quickly those died out. :)

You must understand that, at 55, I have seen enough marketing failures in the last 5 years to know that Twitter must evolve to be useful, should it live that long. A couple of years ago it was second Life. what happened? That's got nothing to do with how old I am and everything to do with a good idea gone wrong. It can still happen to Twitter. Tweet me when you've got proof in 2011.

I have been using Twitter and Facebook but I have to agree with VSap. I am 53 and have also seen too many marketing failures and much time and effort put into something that was a passing fad. You really need to focus on what it is you want to accomplish by using these tools and leverage them. The idea of just tweeting is not enough. There should be some plan or direction or goal in using these tools for marketing and brand awareness.

Well, I read the comments and I am 24, but have notoriously been a late-adopter my whole life...last to get MP3 player, join Myspace and Facebook,and STILL dont have internet on my phone!

The thing about Vsap's comment is that from my vantage point (much lower) I see that marketing is becoming inextricably tied to these tools, the same way it has become inextricably tied to Google, SEO and SEM and PPC ads. Those things have become a necessity now...you may still have to do the others, but you have to do those too.

Social Media is going one step further...you have to do those other things (traditional mktg and SEO) but now you have to Facebook and Twitter and Blog...RIGHT NOW...whether it is a fad or not. That is what these tools have done...they have created an atmosphere so instantaneous and hyper-active that I very much doubt it will survive but you cant risk not being in it at all for the 5-10 years it will be there.

I have recently started to Twitter for my company and I use that in conjunction with our blog and I really leverage these with LinkedIn groups. Has dramatically increased the traffic to our blogs and the number of comments (its hard to get comments on blogs when you're a small biz, so 2 or 3 can be a great encouragement!)

And yes, we still update our SEO, check our rankings, look at competitors, re-design and change our website, fiddle with pricing, and run PPC ads.

And at the end of the day, like everything else...it doesnt happen overnight and you get out of it what you put into it.

Hating on Web 2.0, whether its because you're old, or a late adopter, or whatever, is not what I consider marketing to be about anyways...its about finding the newest, most innovative ways to put your product or service to your customers. With Web 2.0, if you look at it right...those customers may actually tell you how they want you to reach out to them...talk about axing a huge amount from your marketing budget!

Excellent article. As an "over 40" myself I have been fascinated by the emergence of social media and the power with which it has captivated the market, yet I had put it into the category of simply another media tool. Your article allowed me to see it in a much more relevant and 3 dimensional way. Thanks!!!

@vsap, @ Diane. Agree that you need a focus for effective use of the tools. However we must become more conversational in our brand communications and tools like twitter enable that. If we're not conversing in today's world we will be left behind.

@victoria Insightful comments from a young marketer. Its about leveraging the best tools to build a dialouge with our customers and prospects at the end of the day. That conversation as you point out will drive a significant ROI across many fronts.

Age isn't really the determining factor - attitude is. I'm well over 40, have a twitter account, Blog and YouTube channel; many of the under 40s I've worked with show no interest experimenting with these communications vehicles.

Being aware of the awesome potential of Web 2.0 is more about mindset than chronology.

Oh for cryin' out loud, I'll be 55 this year, have written four books on technical subject and work as a Technical Writer for a software company. Would people please keep treating "over 40s" as if we're all still playing with slide rules and trying to figure out how to beat the "Russies" to the moon?

I totally agree with James & Ian. I stumbled upon your blog & won't be coming back. Your tagline is presumptuous & alienating. There are as many over 40's (daresay over 50's) who are as savvy with Web 2.0 as there are under 40's who aren't! It's not an age issue at all.

@James, @ Carol Skyring First thank you for your comments. I agree that age is more about a state a mind than a reality.

The post was not about 40 or 50 year olds but rather marketers over 40 who may not be accepting, or even be aware of the latest tools and trends and process innovation impacting the marketing profession.

There is a general generational gap in understanding of among marketers in how to use social tools or even who’s using the tools.

For example a recent UK study pointed out the following: The lack of understanding of social media as a marketing tool may explain senior marketers reluctance to grasp its potential. 67.5% of marketers in the survey thought that social media is used more by the youth market (under 25s) however, according to Nielsen, people using Twitter tend to trend older with 35 – 49 year olds making up 42% of traffic to Twitter.com with the majority (62%) accessing it only at work.

So while I’m sure there are many marketing managers who use and understand the role of social media there are an equal number who do not understand the fundamental change taking place in the marketing function and equal change in the customer buying cycle.

The point of post was to communicate the fact that we shouldn’t write off Twitter as something stupid or a waste of time but rather understand how this one tool can help us converse better with our customers and track the conversations taking place about our brands.

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