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Study Shows Gen Y Not In Love With Twitter

Problem or opportunity for marketers?

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Marketers who spend time on Twitter may not want to count on it as a way of reaching consumers under the age of 25.  The results of a new study indicate that only 22 percent of people who are part of Generation Y (defined here as 18-to-24-year-olds) use the micro-blogging site. 

This statistic, which was released by the Participatory Marketing Network, doesn’t say great things about Twitter’s popularity among traditional early adopters.  And it looks even worse next to a second PMN stat: 99 percent of Gen Y consumers have a profile on at least one social networking site.

Michael Penna
 

There is another perspective on the data, though.  Michael Della Penna, co-founder and Executive Chairman of PMN, said in a statement, "[C]learly we’re only touching the surface of its potential as a marketing vehicle.  This is a classic ‘glass half full’ scenario for Twitter because it’s clear that Gen Y has an appetite for social networking, but still hasn’t fully embraced micro-blogging."

Della Penna then continued, "There is a tremendous opportunity now for marketers to develop strategies to get this important group active on Twitter too."

So marketers can perhaps use Twitter in their attempts to reach young people . . . they should just understand that there will be more work involved than typing out messages 140 characters at a time.

Study Shows Gen Y Not In Love With Twitter
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  • http://www.trackermo.com Tracker Mo

    As one with two Gen Y’s in the house, I can tell you their reaction to Twitter: it seems redundant and somewhat cheezy.

    Bear in mind that this age group grew up with MySpace, migrated to Facebook (most now abhor MySpace and some even pretend they never liked it) and, without exception, can touch-text message, much like the old touch typing of yore.

    In short, most are too savvy for twitter; they don’t need it to connect with their friends and, in many cases, are not looking for new ones. But most of all they are leery of any system that allows strangers to follow them. As I said, too savvy.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jessiex JessieX

    I find what and how diff generations adopt comm tech to be fascinating. I am strongly of the belief that Twitter is a tool attractive mostly to GenX (born 1961-1981). And here’s why: GenXers (the Nomad archetype, via Strauss & Howe’s brilliant work on generations) grow up behind a culturally dominant and turf-squatting gen (today’s Boomers). As such, there is little-to-no space in the public sphere for GenX to find their footing, except, of course, as support to Boomers. This is particularly true for GenX in young adulthood, which has now shifted as GenX are moving into midlife.

    So, Twitter, as a tool, is microblogging. Right? It’s small bits. Gaps. Niches. Finding a very small space that requires no specific authority-granted position from which to speak. Finding a small space to insert a comment, a bit of information, a link to some potentially helpful info. Finding a small space from which to broadcast, engage, connect.

    Twitter has GenX written all over it. Which is why, for example, Oprah was so clumsy, off-putting and stale-stale-stale as she hosted her ooooh-look-at-me-tweet show.

    Millennials (the correct term, academically), but *sigh* as many call them, GenY, aren’t typically oriented to Twitter, why? They are a peer-oriented, collective can-do generation. They expect high levels of attention — particularly institutional attention — on them. Millennials bring balance to GenXers’ fragmented approach to problem-solving by being oriented more to group-think and the collective heart-space they share in their peer groups. And they, in turn, will have their excesses of hubris balanced by the gen that follows them.

    So, that’s my bit about Twitter and GenY.

    ********

    BTW, always think *handheld devices* when looking to find where/how/when to connect with Millennials. That’s the trick for reaching each gen. Silent Gen = newspaper and credentialed souces. Boomer = TV and radio and big messages. Gen X = internet and fragmented, personable connections. Millennial/Gen Y = handheld/mobile devices; always connected to each other.

  • JackieT

    In addition to Twitter and Facebook – I just signed up for what is said to be the next big social media site.

    www.vreebit.com is a new website coming at the end of July – Vreebit is now accepting pre-signups now – reserve your username and your free website Vreebit combines a lot of the features of Facebook, Yahoo Groups, LinkedIn, Google Docs – great for organizing, sharing, advocating – I just signed up. Looks very cool.

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