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.
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