Mom Doesn’t use Twitter

How are Marketers going to deal with the new social divide?

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There were several “Happy Mother’s Day” notes on my timeline yesterday, but it is very unlikely that the mothers of today’s grown-ups were actually listening that channel. They might have learned to deal with e-mail and paying bills online, but they are just not using Social Media tools to communicate.

In the past several months, I have tried to explain to my “regular” friends what I do for work. Most of them are professionals in their 40’s. The company I work for is developing a Social CRM solution.

I can usually get past “Customer Relationship Management” and “Business Strategy Execution”, but when I say “Social Media” I can clearly see the change in their body language.

When I start talking about my belief that the impact of social media goes beyond personal use and will change how business happens, reactions range from “I don’t understand why people spent so much time in Twitter” to “Corporations will never use social media because of confidential information” to “I’ll never give up the morning newspaper with a cup of coffee”.

When banks started automating their operations many years ago, my mother decided she did not like bankcards and ATM machines. So she still takes a bus once or twice a month to go to the bank and pay bills and get money from a human teller at the physical branch.

One could say that the reaction of my friends and my mom are similar and expected. Human beings resist change. There is always some generational gap because some will fall behind in new technology adoption and never catch up.

My concern is that the Social Media divide is set at a relatively younger age boundary and is broader than previous technological divides. Different from my mom (who was not in corporate), most of my friends are professionals working in the technology industry.

Marketers have to deal with this reality: consumers of B2C products and users of B2B solutions are or will soon be of the generation that relies on social media tools to stay in touch and interact with their peers. Many of the decision makers will not be, at least for the next years.

How does that affect the language and media mix needed to reach the general public? This week’s edition of The Economist looks at television’s ability to remain the common denominator and speculates on its staying power.

Should we in the B2B market dive into Social Media and shift resources into social tools? Or do we need to step back and think that our customers, like our mothers, don’t necessarily use Twitter?

This article was originally written for and posted at

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