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Facebook or Just Face-Look? Are People 55 And Older Really Using Social Networking Websites?

It’s true, older generations are logging on to Facebook and signing up. Although, the 55 and over group isn’t  as active as the younger groups, they are starting to recognize the value of social media and marketing. When I first started online marketing, I was the old guy. Now I see my generation recognizing the value of the Internet and how effective it can be for driving traffic and sales to businesses. It starts with social media. – WST

By: Glenn Gabe

Facebook is estimated to have 70.2 million unique visitors per month in the United States according to comScore.  Social networking is booming, everyone is friending, following, tweeting, tagging, and grandma and grandpa are getting involved too.  Wait a minute, did I just say grandma and grandpa?  That’s what some recent Facebook research has shown.  It seems the fastest growing demographic on the social networking giant is women 55 and older.  That segment grew by 175% in February 2009, while men 55 and older grew by 137%.

I was definitely excited to see the data.  I’m a big believer in social networking and love to see people in that age group join a site like Facebook.  That said, reality set in a few days later.  I ended up speaking with someone 66 years old who needed my assistance with their email account.  Like many of you reading this post, I usually end up being the point person for technology-related questions for friends and family.  I had an interesting few minutes on a phone call with her.  Here’s a quick transcript:

Her: I can’t seem to find some emails I’ve written.
Me: Did you check your sent items?
Her: I’m in my email already. Where are my sent items?
Me: It’s the folder labeled “Sent Items” in Microsoft Outlook.
Her: I don’t think I’m using Outlook…
Me: What are you using to check your email?
Her: The e with a circle around it (AKA: Internet Explorer)
Me: OK, so it’s web-based mail.
Her: No, it’s on my computer.
Me: Yes, but you are accessing your email on the web.  I can help you.  What’s your email address so I can send you some instructions?
Her: I’m not sure, hold on.
Me: Jumping off roof now. 🙂

That conversation reminded me that not everyone is tech savvy.  We come with computer chips built into our brains.  Our kids instinctively know how to text and have built in wi-fi.  But, we also grew up using computers on a regular basis.  People that are 55 and older didn’t…  We were typically the ones introducing computers and explaining how to use them. Needless to say, there’s a big difference between the various age groups and how they utilize new technology.

My 3 Degrees of 55 and Older

After the phone call, I started thinking about people 55 and older and the data I saw about Facebook.  I’ll be honest, I started having doubts that many people 55 and older are jamming on Facebook, tagging photos, using apps, providing status updates, and grabbing their vanity URL’s.  So, why was I skeptical?  My parents are in that age group, and all of their friends.  My in-laws are in that age group, and all of their friends.  In addition, all of my friends’ parents are in that age group, so on and so forth.  So, I like to think I have a pretty good feel for that demographic, based on interactions I’ve had with them over the past few years.

They Are Signing Up, But Not Coming Back…

The initial data I read showed that people 55 and older was a fast growing segment for Facebook (with women over 55 being the fastest growing).  But, recent data revealed that although they were signing up, they were not returning to Facebook.  Unfortunately, that did make a lot of sense to me.  I can only imagine someone 65 years old hearing about Facebook from their children or grandchildren, signing up, and looking at their blank profile thinking, “What the heck is this??”

Getting My Own Data

Although reading all of this data about people 55 and older was great, it wasn’t sufficient for me.  I wanted to know more. So I decided to collect some of my own data!  I reached out to my network of friends and family with a quick Facebook questionnaire.  I came up with five simple questions to try and understand how people 55 and older were using Facebook.  I sent an email to my network and waited patiently for the data to come in.  It didn’t take long to start receiving responses.  Some of the emails cracked me up, others surprised me, and most reinforced what I thought.  Here are the five questions I sent out:

1. Are you currently on Facebook?
2. If yes, what do you use it for?
3. How often do you visit Facebook per day, week, and month?
4. Do you enjoy Facebook? Why or why not?
5. Do you plan to join other social networks like Facebook in the near future (over the next 6 months to year?)

I ended up receiving 57 responses from people 55 and older.

A quick disclaimer before I reveal the data. This is obviously not a scientific study, nor was it meant to be.  I just wanted to receive feedback from a trusted group of people that were 55 and older to see if and how they use Facebook.  Let’s see what they had to say.

Lots of No’s, But There is Hope

As I started receiving responses, I saw a quick trend.  NO.  That’s the overwhelming response I received to question one (Are you currently on Facebook?)  It ends up that 80% of the respondents were not on Facebook.  When someone did choose to elaborate, I received some funny responses.  For example, I found out about one man who isn’t on Facebook and also refuses to upgrade to broadband.  I think the exact quote was, “Dial-up is fast enough!”  I laughed out loud and couldn’t help but think that his response was something right out of an episode of Seinfeld. 🙂  Another comment that cracked me up was, “I think I was there once.”  Wow, Facebook made such a big impression on her that she didn’t even know if she was on the site!  Although I was hoping to see more people from this group on Facebook, I had a feeling this would be the case.  Then I opened a few emails that gave me hope…

Wait, Facebook Can Be Helpful!

Sprinkled in with the no’s were some great responses supporting Facebook.  These enthusiastic responses made me think there is hope.  The first one that struck me was from a friend’s mother-in-law.  Her enthusiasm about Facebook jumped off the page. Literally, if she could friend me, tag my photo, challenge me to a trivia game, and become a fan of my Facebook page, I think she would.   She explained how much she loves Facebook, how she keeps up with her children and grandchildren, and loves seeing everyone’s status updates, photos, video, etc.  She logs in a few times per day.  Yes, she was the exception, but she got it (big time).

After reading her story, I received a few more no’s and then another great response came in.  This time from a friend’s father, who logs in a few times per week to see what his kids are doing, he searches for people he went to college with, connected with some of them online and offline, etc.  It was another great example of someone using Facebook in smart ways.  He seemed to really like it.

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The Web Success TeanSPECIAL: Solopreneur Package – Jump Start Your Business
The Web Success Team’s Solopreneur Package includes a 5-page custom direct response website fully branded and optimized for Search Engines with 6-months of online marketing, social networking, blogging, article marketing and much more. Lock in your special pricing now before the rate goes up! Contact the Web Success Team at 818-222-5643 or email bob@websuccessteam.com. To your web success!

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Filed under: Business Networking, Facebook, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Profiling, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Use POG Ads to Promote

POG Ads, also known as Pot of Gold Ads, can help you promote your business in line with Google Adsense or on their own. These are pay-per click advertisements that can help bring traffic to your site and/or increase page revenue. – WST

By: KC Morgan

There are a lot of online advertising opportunities out there. As a Webmaster, don’t you owe it to yourself (and your site) to explore the possibilities offered by them all? Is it possible that one of these advertising possibilities could lead you to a pot of gold? Find out how you can use POG Ads to promote your site and increase your page revenue.

Touted as a Google AdSense alternative or complement, POG Ads is a pay-per-click promotion model that allows you to earn revenue by placing ads on your pages, or advertise your site on other pages. Want to take advantage of both? When you use POG Ads to promote, you can create your own marketing campaigns and earn income from your site.

What Are POG Ads?

POG, or Pot of Gold, Ads (http://www.pogads.com/) is an advertising service that helps Webmasters use pay per click in one of two ways (or both ways at once). POG Ads is a standard pay per click model that’s widely used for online advertising. The site widely touts itself as an alternative to Google AdSense, or a complement to that program which can be used at the same time.

POG Ads

POG Ads, in fact, work the same way as Google AdSense. You can choose to use this service to promote your Web site through customizable advertisements you’ll create with POG Ads. These ads, promotions for your site, will appear on Web sites belonging to the POG Ads network which somehow boast content similar to yours. It’s very inexpensive to use POG Ads to create advertisements and have them subsequently displayed on different pages across the Internet.

When traffic clicks on your ads, it will cost you money. For each click, you’ll pay a predetermined amount as outlined in your agreement with POG Ads. Hence, pay per click. POG Ads also offers a full advertising service, where you’ll pay a monthly rate to have an ongoing Internet campaign that promotes your site.

Google AdSense offers yet another way to benefit from pay per click, and you can enjoy the same opportunity with POG Ads. If you want to earn money on Web site advertising instead of spending it, you might choose to use POG Ads in a different way. By agreeing to rent out space on your Web pages and placing ads on your site, you can earn money through pay per click instead of spending it. You’ll be providing valuable advertising space for other POG Ads users, and you’ll be earning income with your site. Every time a user clicks on one of these ads, you earn an amount determined in your POG Ads agreement. The amount may be small, but the clicks can add up on very popular pages.

You’ll only place a cut-and-paste code in your HTML editor once; from then on, the page has the potential to earn. If it sounds like very little work, you’re starting to get an idea of how easy it is to use POG Ads and other pay per click advertising models.

What are POG Ads? POG Ads are a way for you to earn money or bring in more visitors to your pages — an advertising program you can use to your advantage. Use POG Ads to promote, use them to create income or use them both ways to give your site an overall boost. Use this service to replace other programs, such as Google AdSense, or use them in addition to other services already in place on your site.

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The Web Success TeanSPECIAL: Solopreneur Package – Jump Start Your Business
The Web Success Team’s Solopreneur Package includes a 5-page custom direct response website fully branded and optimized for Search Engines with 6-months of online marketing, social networking, blogging, article marketing and much more. Lock in your special pricing now before the rate goes up! Contact the Web Success Team at 818-222-5643 or email bob@websuccessteam.com. To your web success!

Filed under: Google, Online Advertising and Marketing, Website, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reducing the Risks of User-Generated Content

Understanding user-generated content and how it can both help and hurt you is a great asset to your business. Social media is a method of connecting with people, meaning providing your own user-generated content to communicate interest, link content and even share business ideas. This article explains the types of risks involved as well as how to protect yourself against negative content. This is important for every successful business online. – WST

By: Jeremy Gislason

User-generated content (or “Participatory Media” as some call it) can be a great way to boost the value of your website, and the traffic that’s driven to it. Many website owners have already found that developing online communities greatly increases their financial bottom lines. Sometimes, as has been the case with YouTube, user-generated content can even be a great business model in itself.

But user-generated content can also be a great source of risk and exposure. Again, there’s probably no better example of this than YouTube. YouTube was sued by the Viacom studio in 2007 for $1 billion in damages, for allegedly distributing Viacom’s copyrighted materials without permission.

If you understand the risks associated with user-generated content, you can take steps to reduce your exposure and protect your online assets, while at the same time increasing the value of your website.

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content is a broad term that includes any material that a website user posts on the website for others to see. This can include not only blog comments, but also pictures, videos, articles, or anything else that a user might post in a forum or bulletin board section of your website, or as part of their own personal profile on the website.

What are the Risks with User-Generated Content, and How Can I Address Them?

There are a number of legal issues that you will need to become familiar with if you permit or promote user-generated content on your website.

a. Intellectual property infringement. There are two primary types of intellectual property infringement issues that you should be aware of. The first is copyright infringement. Key elements of liability include knowledge of the infringing activity, inducing or contributing the improper conduct, and attaining a direct financial benefit in the infringing activity when you have the ability to supervise the direct infringer.

Copyright holders generally try to enforce their rights by means of “takedown notices” that are sent in accordance with the requirements a particular Federal law (the Digital Millennium Copyright Act). You’ll have to decide what position to take once you receive takedown notices. Do you evaluate each and respond notice as you feel appropriate? Or do you simply honor all takedown notices immediately? It’s a balance between avoiding legal risk of a lawsuit by those who claim to hold a copyright to the material that someone else posted, versus possibly alienating your users if you aren’t giving any consideration to their “fair use” rights in that content.

Trademark law prevents the use of trademarks of others in a manner that creates a likelihood of confusion about the source of goods or services or in a manner that dilutes the value of the trademark. User-generated content sometimes falls afoul of trademark law.

b. Defamation. You should also be aware that there is potential liability for allowing users to post defamatory statements about others on your website. There is a Federal law (The Communications Decency Act) which can provide some protection against defamation claims based on what your users do on your website, but the scope of the protection is still somewhat uncertain, so you should not ignore the possibility of claims against you based on user generated content.

c. Obscenity and Child Pornography. The Federal laws that provide protections to website owners generally exclude protections for obscene materials that appear on such websites, even if the materials are posted by users themselves.

How Can I Reduce My Risks?

One common technique for a website operator to reduce their risks of legal liability for user generated content is to not actively monitor the user activities on the website. While this may seem counter-intuitive, the relevant Federal laws provide a greater degree of protection (through a so-called “safe harbor”) for passive web services that do not actively manage or supervise user content.

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The Web Success TeanSPECIAL: Solopreneur Package – Jump Start Your Business
The Web Success Team’s Solopreneur Package includes a 5-page custom direct response website fully branded and optimized for Search Engines with 6-months of online marketing, social networking, blogging, article marketing and much more. Lock in your special pricing now before the rate goes up! Contact the Web Success Team at 818-222-5643 or email bob@websuccessteam.com. To your web success!

Filed under: Business Networking, Online Business, Social Media, Uncategorized, Web Content, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New York Times Article: 10 Things to Be Clear About Before You Start a Company

In tough economic times and unemployment at a record high, people are taking the initiative and creating their own jobs or companies. The question is, are you prepared to become an entrepreneur? This is the million dollar question. Here is an excellent article from the NY Times, “10 Things to Be Clear About Before you Start a Company,” that should make anyone stop and think before starting their own business.

Owning your own business is not for the fainthearted. It can be done with a well engineered business plan. As a successful entrepreneur, I would add a final point to this list: “Is your business idea simple and easy to achieve? It is always better to start a business with a single concept and a great deal of perseverance.

”Here is an excerpt of the article:

1. Is this your first venture?
2. Are you really an entrepreneur?
3. Does your venture involve something you understand really well?
4. Can your mother understand the value proposition?
5. Can you see the right wave?
6. What does your startup want to be when it grows up?
7. Starting a company is hard and uncertain.
8. Get a partner or fly solo?
9. Would you refuse a well-paying job to do this?
10. Can you raise appropriate financing?”

To read more: New York Times Copyright 2009 ReadWriteWeb. All Rights Reserved.

For further can’t miss marketing thoughts, download the Web Success Team’s latest Ten Steps to Web Success. And for a complete direct response marketing solution, discover our Solopreneur Marketing Package. It’s available for a limited time and for a select few. If you read this paragraph, I did my direct response job. Don’t forget to click the links!

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Filed under: Business Networking, Online Business, Online Marketing, SEO, SEM, Keywords, Direct Response W, , , ,

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