Advancing Nonprofit Capacity

The Power of Social Media

Thanks to social media guru Barb Wilson, owner,  SM3, for today’s blog.

Have you and your brand realized the power that is social media?  How do you get your breaking and for that matter your non-breaking news? Your local newspaper? The radio? Television? Those of course are all viable resources, but are they the most effective for getting timely accounts?

We have discussed previously how news people break stories on social media prior to the other outlets these days. Often once the avenues (newspaper, radio, and tv) break or discuss these stories they are quoting tweets from those close to the action, newscaster or eyewitnesses.

While we must always look at demographics and who and where people are most likely to get their news, there are some interesting numbers coming in for the platforms, especially Facebook. What age group would we typically feel would still be tied to print news? Most would agree that those 60 years and older would still be waiting eagerly every morning for their newspaper to hit their front porch. Last August, Penn State University conducted a study and found that nearly 35% of people over the age of 65 have joined Facebook, which was up from 27% in 2013. ( For brands and marketers, that is an exciting trend, but we will talk more about that in a few moments. Let’s continue our discussion on information acquisition.

Pew research showed in a study this past January, that nearly 9 of 10 people are connected or online via the Internet. 77% of Americans own a smartphone. Breaking that down by age group, 92% 18-29 yr. olds, 74% 50-64 (16% increase from 2015), 42% 65 and older ( up 12% from 2015). For the record, 64% of lower income households (income of $30,000 or less) own a smartphone. 50% of Americans own a tablet device which is up from 3% in 2010. Pew also reports that 7 in 10 Americans are using social media in that same study.


Now let’s face it, that’s a lot of numbers to digest, but what are those numbers telling us? First, lots of people are connected, they are doing it on the go, and age is not restricting them from those trends.  I’ll tend to believe that those 60 and over will continue to get their news from print, but I also think as people become more tech savvy, they will also look towards the digital avenues to get their news and information. Also, as people move from age group to age group, the numbers will continue to increase and tech saviness will also increase as younger people will move into those age groups.

Now let’s briefly look at how these trends can help you and your brand. People who are in the higher age groups tend to have higher disposable incomes and thus may be better to reach out to for your target market. The big point is, social media is reaching people in every demographic, and if you are not using social media to reach them, you are missing out on a great opportunity.

How are you maximizing the power of social media?


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