Social Media Engagement for Older Professionals

Author: Shara Darden
Published: March 16, 2012 at 4:42 am
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Social Media and Older Professionals

Many older professionals are hesitant about taking on social media. “Older” meaning those not born into an Internet wired home with a laptop and iPad in hand. We talked with a few workforce veterans who have successfully moved from reticence to social media champions. They all agreed: those who don’t engage are missing out.

Steve Langerud (@SteveLangerud), the director of professional opportunities at DePauw University, often finds that non-users are missing out on opportunities to connect with clients, potential customers, and markets. He shares, “Many report feeling out of place when their colleagues talk about how they are using social media.”

So why are older professionals more hesitant to embrace social media? For many, the answer is fear.

50-year-old John Matthews (@Graycatent), president and CEO of Gray Cat Enterprises, Inc., used to prospect the “old fashioned way” and now 95% of his income comes from social media and other online activities.

In his experience, older professionals fear the speed of change versus change itself, “Fear of the abyss from a speed standpoint. The speed in which the early adapters accept new technologies continues to accelerate. Older professionals are not as adept to the speed of the change.”

The following tips will help older professionals successfully engage and harness the power of social media:

Change Your Mindset

Young professionalsFor many younger professionals, communicating via social media is like breathing, it’s just second nature!

Bill Caskey (@caskeyone), author of Same Game New Rules and host of The Advanced Selling Podcast, suggests the difference is linear versus circular thinking, “Older professionals tend to think in a linear manner. If I do' this,' then this happens. Then my intended results happen. In other words, if I make 50 calls, then 10 will turn into appointments.” Again this refers to the traditional model for prospecting and sales.

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Article Author: Shara Darden

Shara enjoys working with business leaders to help refine plans and budgets toward results-driven marketing and PR activities. Firefly Marketing & PR is a culmination of Shara’s 15 plus years in communications and marketing for various industries, …

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