I stumbled across the following from Pew Research that depicted some global social networking trends.
I find this interesting for a couple reasons.
First is the alarming rate at which people have begun to use social networking. Almost double in the past 2 years! Funny to think back to 2007 when this was a conversation that many AEC professionals were probably having with their kids--except their kids were explaining it to them. Fast-forward to today and many large architecture, engineering and construction companies have Facebook pages and are micro-blogging on Twitter!
The second thing that stands out to me is the obvious percentage jump in the "older boomer" column. For marketing folks this is important because a large portion of your target market (ages 45-55 and 55-64) just skyrocketed...250% and 477% respectively!
Overall AEC marketers should do a few things to prepare for the inevitable "push" of social media both now and in the future.
Learn the environment
Don't just sign up, but take some time to learn about the social network you're a part of and the tools you can use. If you don't know, I've done some general posts on Twitter, Social Media and Social Change in the past. Feel free to search my site for more!
Just like face-to-face networking, participating is always better than just being a member.
Spend your time wisely
Make sure you're spending your time social networking wisely. Spend your time and engage in the environments that make the most sense for you to best achieve your goals.
One thing is for sure thought, the social realm online can no longer be ignored...here is another interesting chart, compliments of Pew.