People once less likely to be public are posting to social forums and flocking to social networks. This change is taking place across the globe. Two observations that struck me from the Neilson Report which can be immediately applied to websites, blogs, and social network accounts are:
SOCIAL MEDIA IS CHANGING THE RULES FOR ADVERTISERS
Consumers have a deep distrust for advertising. Social Media offers a transparency and a candor that has created trust. Along with this trust is also a promise that you will not be invaded. Advertising efforts which are not "value adding" or part of the conversation are an intrusion in these social networks and advertisers must learn to play by the rules or risk having their message rejected.
The Nielsen report on Social Networking's New Global Footprint mirror's blogging advice.
- Add value through interaction and consultation
- Be authentic and transparent
- Advertising must be a conversation rather than a push model
- Don't advertise, communicate and participate in the community
The numbers are changing and the demographic of the social networks is not necessarily who you would think. Facebook's greatest demographic shift has been the increase in users between the ages of 35-49. The standing presumption was that social networks were predominantly populated by teenagers and young adults.
Facebook's Growth in Global Audience Numbers By Age Range