Boomer and the Babe
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Back in the Caveman Days

“Back in the Caveman Days”
By Pete Peters

Peters and BrownBack in the caveman days, people sat around the fire (who got credit for harnessing that?) and chewed the fat (literally and figuratively). They got to know each other and built relationships based on shared interests and mutual needs.

Building relationships, making connections, and asking for help are important aspects of keeping a business strong and competitive. We don’t have to sit around a fire to accomplish those things, but we absolutely DO need a strategy for leveraging our existing sphere of influence to connect with the right people.

Marketing guru Seth Godin calls this group of “the right people” your Tribe. If you are a Facebook enthusiast, you call the right people your Friends. For Linkedin users, your right people plus their right people comprise your Connections. And if you have discovered Twitter, you are Following and being Followed.

Twitter is getting a lot of attention right now – just watch CNN, MSNBC, or a presidential address to both houses of Congress (a few congressmen were using their mobile phones to post messages during President Obama’s speech, and we all know what they said!). Twitter is a free service that lets you keep in touch with people through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

Each Twitter update of 140 characters lets you tell people what you’re eating, reading or watching on TV. You can also let them know when you’ve had a great idea or need assistance. Businesses like Southwest Airlines, Dell and Carl’s Jr. have been using Twitter with remarkable results for the bottom line.

However you label your people (and the others you want to attract and keep in your space), your strategy for engaging them is the same. Just remember you are using these social media outlets as business tools to help you gain the highest and best rung on the ladder. It is very important to complete your profile (lets people know who they’re dealing with) and update regularly and with a compelling message.

If you have questions about social media and its use in your business, call Deborah Brown at Peters and Brown Marketing (623-328-8820).

1 in 10 Adults Has Microblogged – on Twitter or Elsewhere

Over one in ten (11%) online adults in the US say they have used Twitter – or a similar service — to share updates about themselves or view updates about others. What’s more, those who use Twitter have a greater affinity for mobile devices, according to new research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project (via MarketingCharts.

The most recent Pew study on the topic found that the number of tweeters, gauged in December 2008, appears to be growing quickly. In contrast to December’s 11%, only 9% said they used Twitter in November 2008, and 6% of internet users responded yes to a similar question in May 2008.

Younger Users Tweet More
The research also found that younger internet users lead the way in using Twitter and similar services. Nearly one in five (19%) online adults ages 18-24 used Twitter and similar services, as have 20% of online adults age 25-34.
Use of these services drops steadily after age 35, with 10% of 35- to 44-year-olds, and 5% of 45- to 54-year-olds, using Twitter.

The decline is starker among older internet users; 4% of 55-64-year-olds and 2% of those 65 and older use Twitter.
Given the youth of most Twitter users, it is not surprising to find online Americans in lower-income households are more likely to use Twitter than more affluent Americans. Some 17% of internet users in households earning less than $30K annually tweet and update their status, compared with 10% of those earning more than $75K.

Wireless Users More Likely to Tweet
Wireless internet users also are more likely to be users of Twitter and other status updating services. 14% of users who access the internet wirelessly via a laptop, handheld or cell phone have used Twitter or the like, compared with 6% of users who go online but do not do so wirelessly.

Twitter Entwined with Social Media
Use of Twitter is highly intertwined with the use of other social media; both blogging and social network use increase the likelihood that an individual also uses Twitter, according to the study. Adults who use online social networks are more likely to say that have used Twitter or some other service to update their status and read the status updates of others. Nearly one quarter (23%) of social network users say they have ever Twittered or used a similar service.

In comparison, just 4% of those who do not use social networks have ever used Twitter or updated their status online. The correlation between status updates and social network use is less surprising given that many social network sites offer opportunities to post status updates and read the updates of others. Facebook, for example, has a dedicated Twitter app that lets users update status message based on their Twitter posts. And a widget available on Twitter enables users to add a tweet stream to their blogs.

Blogging shows a similar pattern to social media: 27% of bloggers tweet, compared with just 10% of those who do not keep a blog. Overall, 13% of internet users have created a blog.

Characteristics of “Tweeters”
The demographic profile of Twitter users as a whole reveals some additional details about who uses Twitter and how they communicate and consume information, the study found.Key findings about Twitter users:
• Though Twitter users are young, their median age is 31. In comparison, the median age of a MySpace user is 27, a Facebook user is 26 and a LinkedIn user is 40.7.
• Twitter users are slightly more racially and ethnically diverse than is the full US population, most likely because they are younger. Younger Americans are a more ethnically and racially diverse group than is the full population.
• Twitter users are slightly more likely to live in urban areas, with 35% of Twitter users living in urban areas (compared with 29% of all internet users) and just 9% of tweeters and status updaters living in rural areas, compared with 17% of internet users.
• Twitter users and status updaters are much more likely to be using wireless technologies – laptops, handhelds and cell phones – for internet access, or cell phones for text messaging, the research found. More than three-quarters (76%) of Twitter users use the internet wirelessly – either on a laptop with a wireless connection, or via PDA, handheld or cell phone. In comparison, 57% of those who go online but do not use Twitter, and 59% of internet users as a whole connect to the internet wirelessly.
• Cell phone ownership among Twitter users is comparable to the online population as a whole, but Twitter users are more likely to use their cell phone to text and go online. More than four in five (82%) Twitter users have a cell phone and use it to send text messages, while 59% of those who go online but do not use Twitter (and 61% of the internet-using population at large) own a cell phone and use it to send text messages.
• Twitter users are more likely to use their cell phones to connect to the internet; fully two in five (40%) Twitterers with cell phones use the device to connect to the internet, while one quarter (24%) of those who go online but do not use Twitter do the same.

Twitter Users Consume News on Mobile Devices
Along with communicating extensively via untethered mobile devices, Twitter users are more likely to consume news and information on these devices as well, Pew found. For many Twitter users, learning about and sharing relevant and recent nuggets of information is a primary utility of the service. While Twitter users are just as likely as others to consume news on any given day, they are more likely to consume it on mobile devices and less likely to engage with news via more traditional outlets. Tweeters are less likely to read a printed copy of a newspaper, but more likely to read a newspaper online (76% vs. 60% of non-Twitter users), and more likely to read a news story on a cell phone (14% vs. 6%) or on a smart phone (17% vs. 7%).

A similar pattern holds for video news consumption. On any given day, Twitter users are just as likely as others to watch news on a TV, and just as likely to watch video news on a computer, but more likely to watch a news video on a cell phone (6% vs. 1%) or on a smart phone (8% vs. 1%).

Tweeters Read Blogs
Regardless of the platform, Pew also found that Twitter users are also significant consumers of blog content. Some 21% read someone else’s blog ‘yesterday’ and 57% of Twitters have ever read a blog. By comparison, 9% of those who go online but do not Twitter read someone else’s blog yesterday, and 29% have ever read a blog.Twitter users also keep blogs at a greater rate than the overall online population; 29% of Twitter users have ever created a blog, and 8% worked on a blog ‘yesterday.’ In contrast, 11% of internet users have created a blog and 3% are working on their blog on any given day.

See you on the Radio

Pete