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By External Contributor on 10th March 2015

Social media’s role in helping older people stay connected

The UK is only now starting to get to grips with the idea that it has to find better ways to cope with its ageing population. Around 10m people over the age of 65 currently live in the UK and Government projections estimate that figure to be around 19m by 2050, around one in four of the population.

Among the many issues this raises, such as the rise in public spending and the potential reduction in GDP, is the emotional and physical welfare of such a large demographic.

Older people already face a growing trend of loneliness and depression, which are key issues facing people over 65. Charity groups and nursing home companies such as Caring Homes are now urging businesses to take leading roles in setting up schemes to help combat this including telephone befriending schemes as well as social media training groups.

The business of combatting loneliness

Despite it traditionally being the domain of younger people, two studies last year showed demonstrably positive links between social media and older people.

Data from an EU-funded research group, led by the University of Exeter, found that social media has significant benefits in not only combating isolation but also in increasing people’s physical well-being. Age 2.0  found that those who regularly used social media had heightened feelings of self-competence, engaged more in other social activities, had a stronger sense of personal identity and showed improved cognitive capacity.

At the same time, figures from think tank The Policy Exchange showed that some 5m people aged 65 and over have never even used the internet. So online engagement is extremely positive for older people but they aren’t necessarily enjoying the benefits.

Savvy silver surfers

Charities argue that much more needs to be done to encourage older people to get online. It is expected that between 2010 and 2060, the number of people aged 65 and over across Europe as a whole will grow from 17.4% to 29.5% of the total population. So, on one hand this could mean that internet savvy teenagers in 2015 will become savvy silver surfers of the future, with longstanding relationships with their tablets, smartphones and social media. That would mean the current trend over loneliness and depression could vanish but for now remains a critical problem.

Why Facebook should target older people now

At the time of writing there are a lot of rumours that Google will shortly announce that its Google+ social platform could be splitting up into two, ‘Photos’ and ‘Streams’, reflecting the shifting split between the traditional platforms and the newer image-driven ones that appeal to younger users.

By adapting to meet the needs of its core users now, Facebook and other traditional social media platforms can target older markets and secure older engagement. As young people gravitate toward image-driven platforms such as: Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook could capitalise by enriching the experience for older users.

In the Age 2.0 study, each of the 76 volunteers involved in the research showed improvements in their mental and physical well-being. They were each aged between 60 and 95 and were in full-time residential care or receiving care at home in the UK.

It concluded that Facebook in particular plays a significant role in helping people stay connected with friends and family, while encouraging them to get more socially active in other ways.

There has also been a lot of speculation over the future repositioning of Facebook to its changing user groups and how it needs to adapt. Last year its user numbers stopped growing for the first time, while still posting revenues of a massive US$12.5Bn (£8.1Bn).

It will be interesting to see how Facebook responds and if it goes after the younger markets or acknowledges its older users and their positive contribution.

So is the acceptance of technology ultimately the key to ageing well? Well, social media has certainly changed everyone’s ability to reach out and connect with people across the world and as users grow older it will be up to the social networking sites to adapt accordingly.

Social Media Articles

By External Contributor on 27th February 2015

How can social media benefit your job search?

Social media has moved on from ambiguous status updates about how much you miss your ex or sharing hundreds of pictures of cats. Now it can prove beneficial when it comes to searching for your next job.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest can benefit your next job search, alongside sites such as CCJM and Jobstoday, and work as an alternative method for reaching out to potential employers.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social media platform created for networking purposes, so many people use the site and only connect with people they have worked with before. However, LinkedIn also offers an excellent opportunity to connect with potential employers – simply search for people within the industry you are looking to work in or use the job search tool available that lists jobs in your area.

You can also use your LinkedIn profile as a CV itself (and many job application forms online now simply let you connect your LinkedIn for ease) so be sure to keep it as up to date as possible, include your hobbies and any links to examples of your work. You can also ask colleagues from previous jobs to write you a reference and endorse your skills, for all to see when they visit your profile.

Twitter

With just 140 characters you can make contact with future potential employers on Twitter. If you don’t fancy mixing your personal life and jobseeker experience then set up a separate profile and be sure to send out tweets that are relevant and interesting.

Larger corporations usually have a Twitter account just for vacancies, where they post updates and job advertisements for all to see. However, be prepared to tweet smaller companies directly to ask for work. An upfront approach on social media can really help your work prospects.

Pinterest

You thought pinning to boards on Pinterest was just for brides-to-be and fashion bloggers didn’t you? You couldn’t be more wrong.

Pinterest serves as the perfect platform for an online CV, which looks better than a sad old Word doc or a complicated infographic that you spent a week putting together only to realise when you converted it to PDF there was a horrifying typo in the midst of some text. Use Pinterest as a means to showcase your best work and life experiences so employers can see a nice snapshot of you.

Facebook

Facebook isn’t just for sharing terrible pictures of your friends on nights out, you can also use it to benefit your job search.

‘Like’ the pages of companies you want to potentially work for to keep up to date on with any changes or advancements they are announcing, many companies will also post links to their job vacancies on Facebook to give interested followers a head start.

When it comes to social media benefiting your job search, it can be considered a great alternative to printing off hundreds of CVs and sending them out to employers or spending hours filling out lengthy online application forms.

Just be careful what you post and share, employers will look at your profiles and people have found themselves in hot water or out of work because of their use of social media. Keep it professional with a touch of insight into your personal life as well – save the drunken pictures for Snapchat.

Social Media Articles

By Press Release Writer on 18th February 2015

Facebook is one of the most hated brands in the UK – though some people love it

London ad agency isobel has conducted timely research to establish the UK’s most loved (and unloved…) brands.

The survey, conducted in association with OnePoll, polled 1500 UK consumers (18+ and nationally representative) and asked them to identify brands against a number of ‘love’ characteristics. The survey also asked respondents to identify those brands, if any, they hated.

Amazon, the internet retail giant, is the UK’s most-loved brand polling almost half of the votes (48%); the next three places are taken by food stalwarts Cadbury, Walkers and Heinz with BBC1 demonstrating national affection in 5th.

The rest of the top 10 is occupied by Google (6th), Kellogg’s (7th), retailers Boots and Tesco (8th and 9th respectively) with ITV, the UK’s oldest commercial network, taking 10th spot.

Commenting on the Top 10, Paul Houlding, Managing Partner, isobel says: “It would seem that longevity works wonders for most. All, bar two of the top 10, predate the 1960’s with top honours going to Cadbury (1824). Affection, it seems, has been hard won. But it’s not just about affection, it’s about relevance and usefulness and what better proof of that formula than Amazon and Google. Brands that are useful to us, brands that make our lives easier, brands that do what they promise. The question is, can they keep it up? 170 years from now will they have been as resilient as Cadbury?”

Political parties voted the UK’s most hated brands
With a general election less than three months away the UK’s political parties are firmly under the spotlight and keen to curry favour with the electorate.

However the isobel Brand Love survey has revealed that the main political parties are amongst the most-hated brands in the UK.

UKIP, the controversial independent party, has been identified as the UK’s most hated brand polling almost one-third of the votes (30%) – closely followed by the Tories in 2nd place (27%) with Labour in 5th and the Lib Dems 6th.

The Top 10 ‘unloved’ brand list is completed by Marmite (3rd), Ryanair (4th), McDonalds (7th) and Starbucks (8th) with Facebook and KFC taking the last two spots.

“It will come as no shock to anyone (least of all the politicians themselves) that the political parties are all in the same unloved boat” says Paul Houlding “but will it concern them? When it comes to polling day are we voting for the party we love or are we voting for the party of most use?”

Facebook and Twitter – It’s a love/hate relationship

Are we beginning to fall out of love with Facebook and Twitter?

The research has revealed that the UK has a love/hate relationship with Facebook – the social media giant.

The site, that has over 1 billion active users, polled 27% of the votes to take 15th place in the love stakes but also hit the hate highs with a top 10 ‘hate’ ranking of 9th.

Twitter has also failed to impress in the love stakes polling only 11% of the votes in 65th – one place ahead of Vodafone and two behind NatWest.

Paul Houlding comments, “Social media changes by the second and consequently so does our relationship with it. Facebook, the one time newbie, is now the granddaddy. And there is the suggestion that we’re suffering from Facebook fatigue. Is it as exciting? Do I still need it or want it? And with cyberbullying and privacy issues an ongoing concern – perhaps it’s a social media platform we’re beginning to fall out of love with?”

Key findings:

· Londoners buck the national trend and vote Google as the capital’s most loved brand

· Gender divide: men vote for Walkers, women for Cadbury.

· Aldi makes the top 20

· BA takes top airline love honours with easyjet in 2nd – beating Virgin Atlantic in 3rd. Ryanair fails to show the love.

· Audi voted the UK’s most-loved car brand.

· Apple, which consistently tops consumer polls, disappoints in 35th place.

· Nationwide is the most-loved financial institution (44th) – one place behind Persil.

TOP 20 MOST-LOVED BRANDS

1 Amazon
2 Cadbury
3 Walkers
4 Heinz
5 BBC1
6 Google
7 Kellogg’s
8 Boots
9 Tesco
10 ITV
11 eBay
12 Asda
13 M&S
14 PG Tips
15 Facebook
16 Colgate
17 Coca Cola
18 Aldi
19 BBC2
20 Fairy

TOP 10 MOST-HATED BRANDS

1 UKIP
2 Conservatives
3 Marmite
4 Ryanair
5 Labour
6 LibDems
7 McDonalds
8 Starbucks
9 Facebook
10 KFC

Methodology:
In February 2015, 18+ adults and representative of the UK population completed an online study managed by OnePoll.

Total no. of respondents: 1500.

Respondents were asked to identify brands against a number of ‘love’ factors: brands they felt a loyalty towards; brands they would miss if they were no longer available; brands they rely on etc. Respondents were also asked to cite brands that they hate.

Social Media News

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