We have looked at this data before, but a new study by the Pew Research Center shows that usage of social media among adults continues to increase. The findings:
- 65% of adults use social networking sites (compared to 61% last year and 5% in 2005)
- 43% of adults use social networking sites at least once a day (compared to 38% last year)
- Among Internet users ages 50-64, social media usage increased to 32% (compared to 20% last year)
- Only email and search engines were more popular than social networking sites for adults
The various studies we have seen show the same results: adults are using social media; it is not just for kids anymore. A decade or two ago, it was fairly easy to stay on top of union organizing activity. While union organizers have been known to be very savvy in their marketing, traditional union organizing included things like on-site solicitation, passing out fliers, promoting meetings, and providing easily recognizable signs of organizing activity. That’s no longer the case.
Unions have fully embraced electronic communication, and made no bones about the fact that they will continue to exploit online social networking channels. These channels allow them to keep their activities secret, and gather a following before the employer is even aware of their presence.
So, today, it is far more difficult to be proactive in the face of “underground” organizing. That is why we recommend taking time each day, week, month, etc. to monitor the various social media channels.
To get an understanding of how can properly use Facebook, Twitter, Google Alerts, and RSS feeds, read this article, “Free and Easy Social Media Monitoring Tools.”