A Generation Gap on Social Access

Considering the short history of the social web, it’s hard to remember the enormous change announced just eight years ago. That’s when Facebook stopped being available exclusively to users with a .edu e-mail address.

With that obstacle removed parents and grandparents surged into the cyberspace frequented by college-aged students and alums. And although the barrier is down, companies need to keep in mind that the generations reach the social web in very different ways.

Part 8 of Untangling the Social Web, the new study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America, clearly identifies a wide disparity of methods used to access the social web.

For example, shoppers over the age of 45 are most likely to access the social web through a computer. They use laptops or desktops around 67 percent of the time and mobile phones about one third as often. That contrasts sharply with 18-24 year olds who use computers and smartphones equally.

Businesses should consider these usage patterns when designing visuals and planning the best way to convey messages via social media.

Part 8 of Untangling the Social Web may be downloaded for free at http://www.ccrrc.org.

Michael Sansolo
Research Director
Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America
http://www.MichaelSansolo.com

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