I ran an interesting qualitative research group on Facebook recently with a group of 10 UK 18-24 young adults, heavy Internet users. Only one had an Foursquare account, had already stopped using it and the others either hadn't heard of it or thought it was stupid. I know it's not large numbers but their remarks were very interesting.
A response article on Adage says how important it is for brands to get on the bandwagon now because even though the user base is small, they are very influential.
I was in the middle of a pompous and boring write-up about my thoughts on the topic and decided to delete it all when I came across this fantastic image from Gamefan84 on BoingBoing:
Speechless now, eh?
Basically the gist of it was please stop answering vague marketing problems by shouting out the latest popular thing, as so:
Q: How can I sell more of my product to this age group?
A: Foursquare / Twitter / Facebook / Whatever's next
However many users they have and however cool their technology is (Don't get me wrong, I love all this stuff), none of these platforms, or even channels to a wider extent, are the answers. Just like a poster concept isn't the answer either. Everything is connected now, so answering the problem requires a wider view of the media landscape and coming up with a good idea before getting in the nitty-gritty of channels and platforms.
May the vengeful giant mutant squirrel riding Chewbacca come after your asses if you keep at it.
You know who you are.