Age Decreases Usage: Social Business Failure #15

Age: We hear it all the time.

“The young guys coming in – they all know how to use this stuff.  If we can get them on board we will have an easier time with people adopting our social tool.”

I agree.  And I fully disagree.

If you can get the younger workforce to adopt your tool, then (imagine this) more people will have adopted your tool.  But we can’t think that just because they are young means that they will use it – because that’s not necessarily true.

The example that sticks out most to me is a time when I was doing some analysis for a customer on who was using their social tool and who was not (back a few years ago when all of this was still young).  I found one fresh-out-of-college gal who never used it.  Why?  It didn’t have anything to do with her job.  On the opposite end I found a 55+ woman who swore by it.  She used it all the time.  Why?  Because how she used it was woven into how she did her job.

This can’t be said loudly enough: Age has very, very, very little to do with social technology adoption within an organization – it is age agnostic.  I have found that those who are younger are more willing to use it and those who are older (generally) are less willing to use it.  But when it comes to actual usage, I could not find a correlation.

The strongest correlation for adoption if it became a part of how they worked.  If it was an extra add-on responsibility, they didn’t use it, no matter the age.


Previous Social Business Failures: