My 19-year-old niece babysat my children last Friday night. She’s a Kent State (that’s a college) student who lives in a sorority in a “quad” with 4 other girls in one room.
Every time I see her, I take the opportunity to talk to her about social media, and all things “new and hip”, etc… Heck, I have to, I’m a 36-year-old Internet geek. I see a lot of new tech online, but it’s obvious I’m not the core target for new stuff. I don’t “get” a lot of it.
Why do I have these conversations with her? Because I want get it straight from the horse’s mouth about what is new and hot and how she and her friends interact with things like Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a surmised recap of my conversation with her.
Me: So are you still using Facebook?
Niece: OMG, yes, about 5 times a day at least.
Me: You mean you log in 5 times a day?
Niece: At least. Me and all my roommates are on Facebook all day, and night. Constantly.
Me: Doing what?
Niece: I don’t know. Just updating, and socializing. Looking at pictures, leaving messages?
Me: Really? (Genuinely surprised)
Niece: Oh yeah. It’s our life beside classes.
Me: Ok, you login, and what exactly do you do? Because I login and I’m out of there in 2 minutes. I don’t know what to do.
Niece: We just send each other pictures and stuff, and chat and leave messages. It’s socializing.
This conversation finally made me realize why I don’t get Facebook. It’s because I don’t want to socialize, really. I just don’t.
She proceeded to tell me more about mp3 downloading and listening to music, and texting.
Here’s a thought on YouTube:
Me: So do you watch videos on YouTube?
Niece: Not really. I mean, we do watch the “hot” clips and stuff, but no one I know sits around and watches videos online instead of TV.
Wow, it’s amazing to see how that generation is truly utilizing today’s tools to interact with each other, not just daily, but by the minute.
When was the last time you talked to someone in your target market? It’s a sure-fire way of learning about how they use and think about your tools and company.
Heck, ask your Niece. It works for me.