Monday, February 2, 2009

Who's Online? Everyone.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project just published their Generations Online report for 2009 and it's worth a read (hat tip to Shabbir Safdar @ Virilion Inc. for publishing a link to the report in his latest newsletter)

The report challenges the idea that young people represent the bulk of users online. According to their research, each generation is as active online as any other - they're just using the internet for different things. Teens and Generation Y find entertainment and social networks online. Older generations use the internet as a tool for research, shopping and banking. Both the younger and older generations go online to do research.

Many of my clients are hesitant to expand their online outreach strategy much beyond a basic website and a monthly email newsletter (indeed, sometimes it's a challenge just to execute those two effectively). In today's internet, however, these two are clearly not enough. SEO, social media, interactive tools, and online word of mouth, are need to be critical components of any online strategy.

This research reinforces that no matter who your current audience is, and no matter which new audiences you are trying to reach, your more likely to find them online than anywhere else.

Which begs the question, what are you doing - right now - to create and execute a comprehensive online presence for your organization?

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