Social media: Old people rule!

Today I’m pleased to introduce a special guest-blogger, my daughter Lauren, who provides a 20-something perspective of social media. Lauren is an awesome young woman (with a capital AWE) and is a junior majoring in Public Relations at Indiana University. She is also completing a summer internship with a company in San Francisco.

This week, my boss asked me to construct his company’s first Facebook page and establish a presence on Twitter. My qualification? I’m young.

The truth is, I probably know less about social media marketing than he does … Tweet what?

Sure, I am a child of the new media generation. But, the truth is, my generation is still trying to figure all this stuff out too! Granted, there are a handful of SM savvy hipsters who can tweet and blog their way through life, but half of us can’t figure out what to do with all this stuff.

Sure, we all have Facebook or MySpace pages and we love YouTube, but at college, we’re using these channels just for fun and we’re too self-involved to realize that SM can be used by businesses on so many other levels.

The “youth-as-social-media-change-agents” myth got pumped up to a whole new level a few weeks ago when a much-publicized 15-year-old delivered a report on media channels to Morgan Stanley. Not all of us in the under-25 bracket can do that … most of us are just not that precocious!

The only reason I’m on Twitter is because my Dad is there. When I found out he was on Twitter I thought, “Whoa! The old man is on Twitter? I must be falling behind!” Truth is, my whole generation is behind. Nearly every study shows that people OVER 25 are the ones most rapidly adopting social media … not us. And the fastest-growing category on Facebook is over 50!

Here’s my point: For all of you from the generation ahead of me who have been running rampant through SM sites to compete with my generation of “digital natives,” SLOW DOWN. You’re winning a race against a competitor that doesn’t even know the race exists!

The social media finish line looks a lot clearer in your reading glasses, than in my generation’s youthful 20-20 vision.

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