If you've been holding off on using Twitter or other social media for your small nonprofit because you've been under the impression that it's primarily used by kids, you'll have to re-think that decision.
This week Sarah Perez wrote that the Pew Internet & American Life Project is reporting the number of adult users has quadrupled in the last four years. In 2005, only 8% of adults had social networking accounts and now 35% do. Here's the breakdown (from the Pew Research Center):
- 75% of online adults 18-24 have a profile on a social network site
- 57% of online adults 25-34 have a profile on a social network
- 30% of online adults 35-44 have one
- 19% of online 45 to 54 year olds have a profile
- 10% of online 55 to 64 year olds have a profile
- 7% of online adults 65 and older have a profile
A large group of adults 35-65+ have embraced social media: people who may already be familiar with your nonprofit and your mission. People who could be your evangelists in your online community, forum leaders and moderators, volunteers and volunteer managers. These are people who, like their younger counterparts, have joined social networks to stay in closer contact with the people who matter to them and to whom they matter. In fact, the top three reasons given for joining a social network are to connect with friends or make new friends. And the fourth? "Organize with others for an event, issue or cause."
With this information, it becomes a lot clearer why President Obama wants to keep his Blackberry and his Twitter account: he knows it's a great way to stay in touch with his friends and what they care about. Maybe you should follow his lead.