By Jim McCarthy Apr 22, 2009 0 comments

Twitter’s Secret Advantage Could be its Demographic…

Since we’re just a few weeks away from the New Media Edition of Live 2.0 coming out, it’s worth talking about Twitter, and what I think is most surprising about it.

Last week, I was asked to speak to an undergraduate class at the University of Southern California.  (By the way, I’d like to just pause and say that I appreciate the invitation and enjoyed the class, but GO BRUINS!) It was a group of mostly seniors in Technical Entrepreneurship, but I was talking to them about the Internet business in general.  It was a bright group with a lot of interests, and we started talking about social networking.

So I asked the question:  how many people here use Twitter?  Of the 25 attendees, two raised their hands.

Two.

Two?

Isn’t Twitter the newest plaything of the generation that brought us Facebook?  Isn’t every high school and college student, and every newly minted grown up in his or her first job twittering all day long with every mundane detail of their lives?

It turns out that Twitter is more of a grown up phenomenon than that.  According to this report, the highest indexing age demographic on Twitter is a group that will soon be getting invitations to join the AARP.  Here’s the key tidbit:

“What Oreskovic discovered was that 18-24 year olds, the traditional social media early adopters, are actually 12 percent less likely than average to visit Twitter. It is the 25-54 year old crowd that is actually driving this trend. More specifically, 45-54 year olds are 36 percent more likely than average to visit Twitter, making them the highest indexing age group, followed by 25-34 year olds, who are 30 percent more likely.”

Why is this an advantage? It’s simple:  people older than college age have money and the ability to spend it online.

Remember that the desirability of a very young target demographic comes not from their ability to buy, but from their ability to influence purchases.  I don’t have any statistics at hand, but if you compared the buying power of a 40 year old woman with a 19 year old boy, you’re talking the U.S. Marines against the Idaho National Guard.  (No offense meant, naturally, to the fine men and women of the Idaho National Guard.  Thank you for your service. :) )

So for those of you who face the double whammy of a new media with which you’re not comfortable and the fact that that new media is being used by an audience that’s a bit young for you to be comfortable communicating with, here’s your chance.

A hot new medium being used first and foremost by the grown-ups that your business caters to already.

You officially have no excuse. :)

(By the way, if you like trivia contests and winning tickets to shows, follow Goldstar on Twitter!  Our Quiztix game has attracted a solid following, so go to www.twitter.com/goldstar and feel free to copy any ideas you like.)

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