Whether its integrating your website with Facebook and Twitter, sending updates to Facebook and Twitter, or developing a social networking policy, it’s clear that social media has a lot to offer website owners.
But according to new research, if you’re trying to market to younger people your success might well be down to your use of language rather than any of the techniques we’ve mentioned.
A New Language for Social Networking
And that’s all because teens have developed a new social-network language that they’re using to communicate on the Facebook, Bebo and Twitter. It’s all about trying to prevent adults from finding out what they’re up to.
Popular codes include ‘Getting MWI’ – or Mad With It – which means drunk; or ‘Ridnick’ which is derived from ‘Redneck’, and means embarrassed. Those who are in a relationship refer to themselves as ‘Ownageeee’.
Keeping it Exclusive
Psychology PhD student Lisa Whittaker of the University of Stirling – who is carrying out the research – said that youngsters ‘use the opportunity provided by their personal social-networking pages to develop a ‘cool’ language that is specific to their age group and unlikely to be used by adults”.
Losing traditional language skills
The age old worry is that these language skills develop at the expense of traditional ones, something that Lisa rejects. “I think it is too easy to assume that these young people are illiterate. I think young people are responding to the technological age they are living in and becoming very creative in their use of language,” she added.
So it might be time to ‘cool up’ your use language of social networks, in order to ‘convert’ a few youngsters into customers.
Why do I feel like my use of ‘cool up’ automatically makes it, well, not cool?
If you’ve any experience of using your social networks to reach new customers, leave us a comment below.