According to a study by Pingdom, the average age of the Twitter user is 39 and more than 60 percent of all Twitter users are 35 or older. Why is Generation Y not into Twitter?
As a Gen Y’er myself, I have found Twitter useful both personally and professionally, but I’m in the minority. There are two main reasons I believe Gen Y’ers are not using Twitter:
* They have not yet discovered how to leverage the platform to build their personal brand.
* They’re not comfortable engaging beyond their existing social network.
Gen Y’ers feel that Twitter is just “Facebook status updates” so why not stick with Facebook? In other words, they find value in the additional features of Facebook such as photos, groups, and videos.
We also saw this with the popularity of MySpace backgrounds and themes. Millennials completely customized and branded their pages.
Similarly, Facebook allows you to brand yourself in a multi-dimensional way through not only short status updates about last weekend’s formal but also pictures and videos to go along with it.
Millennials have yet to find a way to create their personal brand through 140-character dispatches. And not only that, they say they don’t care what random people are eating for lunch or wearing that day. They do care on Facebook, though.
The difference is pushing past their current social circle. As one friend said, “I only care what my friends are doing. On Twitter, it seems to only be celebrities.”
The merits of following celebrities aside, it takes time to build your following, but those who make the effort soon realize the value of the global network they are building.
Some recent graduates are embracing that type of approach. Samantha Ogborn, a recent University of Missouri graduate, said, “I think Twitter can be a valuable resource for anyone in any niche. It’s what you make of it. You don’t have to be in the business of social media to participate in Twitter. It’s just another medium for you to pursue your passion.”
So why should my generation hop on the Twitter train? Here are my top three reasons:
* Networking and career preparation – No matter what the industry, there are leaders and entrepreneurs on Twitter who you can easily connect to in a matter of seconds. You never know where it might take your career!
* Talk to companies directly – When listening to horrible hold music from a cable company one afternoon, I hung up, tweeted my frustrations, and received an instant response from a company rep who was able to take care of my problem!
* Stay current on news and trends – I have discovered so many local activities, new venues and great deals on Twitter. It’s an unbelievable news source, too.
Why do you use Twitter?
Courtney Dial satisfies her love for marketing, PR, and social media through various freelance projects to assist businesses with their online marketing needs. She lives in Nashville, Tenn., where she enjoys cheering for her alma mater, Vanderbilt University, and finding any excuse to throw a party.