Social media and baby boomers

In my previous article on social media I highlighted that the common preconception of its being the domain of young people has been disproved.

In fact, not only is the average age of the users older than we might initially guess, the baby boomer demographic is a part of the fastest growing group venturing online.

Age distribution on social network sites

Age distribution on social network sites

 

Another misconception about the older generation and the Internet in general and social media in particular is an inherent hesitation due to lack of interest. However, it has been not so much a lack of interest in social media but perhaps lack of interesting and relevant content.

This is rapidly changing with many social media providers recognizing this vast market with tremendous untapped potential. Baby boomers are likely to have a higher disposable income and a willingness to spend it. They are also likely to be users of social media. A recent study by Unity Marketing examined how the affluent sectors of the population used social media and revealed that 74% of the oldest age group 55-70 use social media.

Social media impact baby boomers

One key benefit of new forms of social media for the older generation is the ease of staying in touch with family and friends. In fact research has shown that encouragement from family members is how many baby boomers are introduced to social media. Family also remains a great motivator to stay online. These days, family holiday photos can be shared instantly online. Programs like Skype allow families to keep in touch across long distances. However it isn’t only about family. Baby Boomers are also increasingly using social media to connect with each other. An example is ActiveEmptyNesters, which is a social networking website designed specifically for members of the Baby Boomer generation.

Aaverage age on Social Networks& online communities

Aaverage age on Social Networks& online communities

 

It should not be surprising to note that Baby Boomers actually use the Internet and social media for many of the same reasons as the rest of the population. All the reasons for its popularity such as speed and ease of communications, diversity and depth of information and just simply that it is fun, are all equally appealing to the older generation.

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