American Idol blew through 100 million votes last night if one believes host Ryan Seacrest’s announcement. That’s only 30 million less than the popular vote count in last year’s presidential election. True, people can’t (or shouldn’t) vote more than once in any political race. But it’s also 100 million of something, which is always a number worth noting.
Sixty-somethings Steve Martin, Carlos Santana and Lionel Richie joined KISS and the Idol wannabes on stage. On a day when the wars continued, Iran tested a missile capable of carrying a nuclear payload to Israel and oil prices surged well over sixty dollars again, America cared about American Idol.
Don’t think that this is a millennial or Gen X trend. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a trade group made up of the Internet’s biggest advertisers, released standards for social media advertising today.
By way of introduction, the IAB announced that social media has overtaken email as the most popular online consumer activity. Think about that for a moment. Email was the Internet’s killer app.
The party is in Social Media.
The IAB, quoting Nielsen, also reported, “Facebook’s strongest growth is coming from 35-49 year-olds, adding twice as many 50-64-year-olds as opposed to those under 18.”
You as an individual and your small business need to be there too. Even if you’re not an American Idol fan (and Pirates of the Caribbean was on network television if you aren’t), you need to be involved in social media.
You need to be investigating whether Facebook or Twitter ads make sense for your business. Your agency can help. We’re already helping small businesses who wouldn’t have microtargeted at this level do just that.
Social advertising allows peers to evangelize a product or service, the networks are chock full of rich media and games and activities are lessons in modern branding.
Don’t get left behind. A mentor once told me that the biggest mistake business leaders make is assuming they are representative of their customers. Don’t do that. If social media isn’t your thing and American Idol’s popularity makes you long for the days of half hour sitcoms, hire someone to put your business in these spaces now.