Monday, March 23, 2009

The Social Networking Social Phenomenon

The current economic climate has transformed social networking into a ballooning industry of interest. 50% of all marketing is now being targeted towards social networking strategy. Why? Because social networking involves a progressive phenomenon that is catching on quickly throughout the world. We are embracing our natural instinct to form ourselves into social groups for survival.

To better understand this we would have to discover who is using social networking, how and in what groups. Here are a few examples to get an idea of how to reach your target market or demographic to market your business.

First of all, although I have stated before that baby boomers world wide are gaining interest in social networking, it is important to know in what way. Current research suggests that the Generation Y social networking group interest, although higher in usage, has plateaued and in some cases decreased. While Baby Boomer usage is skyrocketing by as much as 35-45% annually. Needless to say, our older population is catching on and they are something to watch.

If you would like to read something FASCINATING check out the Nielsen Rating data on social networking across the globe. It backs up what I've already said about aging demographics and also what I have mentioned before about the obvious rise of Facebook over Myspace.

Also, what you will find is that countries like Germany and Switzerland are greatly on the rise in internet social networking. But what is more important and noted in the Saudi Gazette is that social networking is shifting the way the Middle East think. It notes, "Blogging and Facebook and so many other things have opened up avenues for political participation in various forms, for personal participation, for the creation and construction of new identifies, and for the ability of people to form new relationships which in the past wouldn’t have been possible".

It can be ascertained that this fact is more important than physical numbers.

That said, and I'm just throwing this in for grins, it is now suggested by a anthropologist at Oxford that genetically primates are only able to handle a capacity of 150 members in any one given close knit group. There is a law of diminishing returns after this figure which serves us negatively. So, online social networking works at it's very finest with groups of this general size. Beyond that, it becomes something close to television static.

But there are endless groups that one can belong to of various types, don't be worried. Like, for instance, the tree hugger group that advocates for green living. And there is the Indian group that collects, yes, all people who share a general interest in the country of India.

As you can see there really is no end in sight.

Buckle up tight.

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