For many the idea of social network marketing is a fairly new concept, but for some it’s been around a lifetime. If you consider the arrival of Myspace in 2003 as a key point in the evolution of social network marketing, it would put it at a mere seven years of age. Still very young, or so you would think.
You have to ask how long is seven years in relation to the lifespan of your average customer? if you were to ask an 18 year old it would practically your living memory, anybody under the age of 25, or even 30, would also have a hard time imagining life before setting up their first ever Myspace, Bebo or Facebook profile. These people have grown up with social networks and while social network marketing might be new to companies, it’s far from new to anyone born after 1980. In fact social network marketing is practically expected from companies and brands they like.
In the last seven years Facebook has grown from being a thought in the mind of a young student into the biggest brand on the internet with 500 million active subscribers. 1.73 million of which are based in Ireland. Social networks are not going anywhere, they will embed further into society, as both older audiences become more tech savvy and the younger audiences inevitably age.
The seven year lifespan of social network marketing highlights a very important issue for brands, especially those who’s customer base is under the age of 30, they should already be operating within the social media landscape. By that I mean the right social channels that best suit their needs have been identified, profiles established and, most importantly, content strategies lined up.
So how old are your customers? Here’s a year by year age breakdown for the Irish users on Facebook. If you notice Facebook users reach a peak at 19 and maintain that level until the age of 31, before decreasing rapidly. There’s a spike towards the end as all users aged 65 and over are grouped together. Facebook don’t give a breakdown for those under 13 or over 65. But if we were to say the figure for the average amount of users aged 64 was the same for each year aged 65 and over, it would indicate that users well into their late 70′s are on Facebook.