If you’re of “a certain age” you may not fully appreciate what the whole big world of social media is about. In fact, you might feel it is just something that the younger generation is doing while they listen to their loud music and tune you out. But, you might be surprised how many boomers prove you wrong. Since 2010 social media users aged 65 and older has tripled from 11% to 35%, and users aged 50-64 has almost doubled from 33% to 52%. But, while the term “social media” is still rather new, the concept goes way back. It really should be thought of as word of mouth marketing.
If you grew up between the 50’s and the late 70’s you will remember that the home telephone was always prominently situated in the middle of the kitchen where the entire family was privy to your conversation (at least your half of it). It was the era of “the party line” with several households connected on a common telephone line; the ring sequence would let people know which household the call was for. There was a very good chance that an extra click (or two or three) would be heard when you picked up your call. Without a doubt your conversation was being monitored by the local gossips…the social media of the 50’s and 60’s!
If you were smart you would ensure that they had something interesting to talk about, just to set tongues wagging…or maybe even to advertise your business events! It would not take long before the community knew who was having a party or a garage sale, that the pop was on sale at the grocery store, and that it was definitely worth your while to get out to the marina for their annual sales event.
In the 80’s there was a very popular shampoo commercial that explained word of mouth marketing in just 30 seconds.
Even the famous movie Wayne’s World referred to this popular commercial about word of mouth marketing.
Of course these tools (party line and TV commercials) were the pioneers for word of mouth marketing. Social media today is just another tool to ensure your word gets out into the local community and to the greater world, where it really counts when promoting your business or your upcoming event.
Photo source: mylot.com, irvingsjourney.com, saturdayeveningpost.com, linkedIn, ceylonguidance.com