Apr 16 Adults and Teens Use Social Networks Differently
How we talk about social networks has changed a lot in the last 12 months.
- It used to be: “Kids use these, but not many people over 30 use them.”
- Now it’s: “The fastest growing user segment on Facebook is over age 55.”
By now most of my clients get that a lot of these networks are now viable ways to reach a wide variety of demographics. But here’s some interesting data that I found on eMarketer that suggests that adults and teens use social networks very differently.
As you can see, there is a fair amount of similarity in staying in touch, but then we see some divergence.
- Teens are far more likely to actually make plans on the network. I imagine older people email or call to cement plans.
- Self promotion is pretty far from the mind of teens, but adults often do so on social networks.
- While business contacts are obviously something that teens would be less interested in, it’s a bit surprising that they don’t show up at all for organizing with others for an event, issue or cause online.
Even though this data was released in 2009, it looks like it was collected much earlier. I’d love to see updated information out of Pew on this, but it’s an important reminder for social media marketers:
Just because adults are catching up to teens in social network usage, doesn’t mean they behave the same once they are there.
What have you seen in your efforts in terms of these differences? Let me know in the comments.