In my presentation called “Beyond the Website” (watch here) I have a slide that says this.
“The Internet is for kids and geeks, and MY customers will never be online.” – Unnamed 1990’s executive.
I don’t remember where I found that quote online, and I have no idea if it’s real or not (I bet it is). But I love it because it illustrates the short-sighted approach that many people take when emerging trends and technologies grab the hearts and minds of the world.
The thing is, people are still saying that quote, but today they’re inserting social media in place of “the Internet”. You know, things like Twitter, and Facebook and Myspace and all the rest. All of those things are just for kids and geeks… right.
Let’s redo the quote for effect. You know you know somebody like this.
“Social media is for kids and geeks, and MY customers will never use social media.” – Unnamed executive.
At this point I could go on and on about how that’s a big fail waiting to happen, and most surely a pink slip for the person who said it down the road as their business lags behind competitors who didn’t think that way.
However… let’s not do that. Let’s prove them wrong. On another slide in my presentation I point to a BusinessWeek piece that defines the 6 types of social media users.
If you could really dig into this slide you would see that it’s not just kids that are using social media. The scale skews to younger, sure, but in fact, this data (which is two years old btw) does indeed show a major trend toward “older” people using social media in all kinds of facets.
Ignore social media at your own peril. This is your last warning!