Boomers = growing social media population

Generally, most tend to think the older generation doesn’t utilize social media – however, there are many articles that will support the ideas and statistic that boomers are participating in the groundswell and this market needs to be recognized more by businesses.

In the article writeen by Cecilia Kang, Boomers rapid users of social media via smartphones: Nielsen, Kang discusses not only did the percent grow by 109 percent from 2010 to now, boomers are using social media websites such as LinkedIn for professional networking.

Even though Boomers may not be participating actively as much as fellow social media users, most are still listening and observing the conversation that do happen.

“Boomers are very comfortable online, but they do not confuse their Internet interactions with their offline ones. For most boomers, being in constant contact is a personal choice, not one dictated by technology. Marketers should not expect boomers to become “fans” or “friends” unless they are passionate about a product or service. However, boomers who do sign on should be nurtured-they are vocal about their positive and negative experiences.”

I was actually discussing this the other day with my fiancé – we were talking about our parents, age range 56-64, and both our mom and dad’s use social media in some capacity.  Typically our moms use Facebook to stay in touch with family and use it as a means to keep updated with businesses and new trends.  Both our fathers use social media to stay in the loop when there is breaking news or even for sport updates.  Each boomer uses social media as a different function, though, the end result is the same – they are using social media.

So what does this mean?  Below is a social technographics chart that outlines how boomers are using social media.  Although we are still seeing an increase of Boomers who create content, the stats are showing that in 2008 there was a 23% spike in Boomers being spectators.  Now these stats were recorded back in 2008 and since then technology has advanced, the availability of social media has increased with smartphones, iPads and devices such as Kindles and Nooks.

According to Forrester, they suggested businesses to keep a watchful eye out for this market, delegate some marketing money on social media advertisements, and provide blogs and videos that connect them with professional development.  And even though we have seen a significant increase in the usage of social media with Boomers, this technology they are utilizing isn’t by any means advanced.  Sites like YouTube, simple blogs and Facebook are all sites that allow users to navigate with ease and find information they need and want.

References:

Kang, C. (2011, July 19). Boomers rapid users of social media via smartphones: Nielsen – Post Tech – The Washington Post. The Washington Post: National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines – The Washington Post. Retrieved October 13, 2011, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-tech/post/boomers-rapid-users-of-social-media-via-smartphones-nielsen/2011/09/12/gIQARe8YNK_blog.h

Perez, S. (2009, February 20). How to Reach Baby Boomers with Social Media. ReadWriteWeb – Web Apps, Web Technology Trends, Social Networking and Social Media. Retrieved October 13, 2011, from http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/how_to_reach_baby_boomers_with_social_media.php

Phillips, L. E. (n.d.). Boomers and Social Media . Market research & statistics: Internet marketing, advertising & demographics – eMarketer. Retrieved October 13, 2011, from http://www.emarketer.com/Report.aspx?code=emarketer_2000649

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About Spinto

Where to begin.... I was born and raised in the Burlington, Vermont area. After graduating college at Lyndon State College (wayyy northern Vermont), I moved to Massachusetts to work for a promotional products company. A few years later I relocated to western Massachusetts where I took a job at a community college as their in-house marketing manager. During this time, I decided to open the floodgates and own and operate my own business named Otnip Graphics. Otnip Graphics helps to positively promote business' through innovative marketing strategies and branded design collateral. All while this is going on, I decided I wanted to expand my knowledge in marketing to help our college keep a competitive advantage over local colleges, thus I enrolled myself in graduate school at SNHU to achieve my goals. Keeping myself busy and motivated is the only way I know and wouldn't change anything! On a more personal level (because I do have a personal life, I think...) I am getting married next October (Oct. 20) in Vermont. I have been chipping away at the large and small details to complete our wedding plans and hopefully while I accomplish all that I set out to do, I can relax and enjoy the wedding, and yes, the planning too. My hobbies include any kind of crafts/art projects I can get my hands on, watching brain rotting TV, skiing, running and enjoying time with my fiance and our little silky terrier, Pixie Lou.

2 responses »

  1. I really enjoyed your post. This just solidifies the reality that boomers are interested in social media and will continue to be interested. I work with a lot of older individuals, at it is very clear by what they say, and what you’ve said that for them to go online and research something, or like something, they have to be passionate about it, or extremely interested in the topic. Most younger generations will comment and talk about anything because this form of expression is not a foreign concept to them. With boomers, they aren’t as familiar with technology and social media, so they tend to only go online with a mission or for some purpose that really interested them in the first place.

  2. Great blog Stephanie. I agree with you that marketers need to pay more attention to this group of people, ‘boomers’. They may not use social media sites actively in the same way that younger people do but given the fact that they are spectators, they will see the ads and may be persuaded to make purchases based on the ads these ads that they see.

    Bronte

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