Addressing Social Media Ageism

Addressing Social Media Ageism

ABA graphWhat you see above is are the top reasons that marketers within the American Bankers Association have not yet added social media marketing to their current mix (taken from a longer survey on the state of SMMarketing in Banking).  While the options listed are all important, the top reason for reluctance that came out in discussions in a learning lab I hosted at the ABA Marketing conference last week is not listed.  That reason is some combination of the following: “I am/my marketing manager is/my customers are TOO OLD for this stuff.”

How do you handle this statement? In the past, I have chosen to fight it with a mountain of demographic data (or the handy Forrester technographics tool), but demographic data can easily be dismissed as too generic or inflated.  This is as much a state of mind issue as state of the reality issue anyway. Here are some other options to address:
Train and encourage personal social media adoption in the workplace. Once it becomes a part of your life, it is much easier to understand the benefits, relevance to your customers, and how your might marry the two. This is  harder than it seems – it is very easy to help someone set up a Facebook account, but an uphill battle to get them to use it.
Get specific data on your customers’ social media usage. This could be done through primary methods like polls or through secondary research such as looking for mentions in social media (free tools include Summize Twitter search, searching on Facebook, or Google Blogsearch). While demographic data may not hold water with your peers, demonstrating that  your customers are looking for you is extremely compelling.
Run a pilot in your “Sweet Spot” to show results. When all else fails, ask forgiveness.  (note: this could be risky, but sometimes very successful).

What have YOU done in your workplace, your agency, or around your dinner table to respond when you hear that social media is just for kids?

One Reply to “Addressing Social Media Ageism”

  1. Since I haven’t gotten the chance to discuss this topic in the workplace, the dinner table is where it’s at! 🙂 I find stories to be incredibly effective in warming people up to social media. For older generations, one of their big concerns is health care, so discussing some of the things that hospitals around the nation have been doing with social media to proliferate information about the industry and improve patient care has been effective in helping them open up to the idea of using social media for their own lives.

    Also, I would imagine that if you can find ways to connect these new tools for communicating with more traditional means of communicating that might help open some eyes.

    Last resort? Tell ’em they can keep tabs on their kids with social media. 😉

Comments are closed.