Social Media Grows Up

Face it: you’re getting older. But you’re getting better, too, and you can cite Pew Research’s recent report as proof.

Pew Research recently published a study which shows that adult Internet users are accessing social media in greater numbers than before. In fact, 65% of all adult Internet users—fully two-thirds—use social media on a regular basis. The new figures represent astounding growth in this demographic. For instance, only 5% used social media in 2005; and daily usage by adults aged 50-64 grew by 60% since last year.

The implications are staggering, especially since social media use among people under 30 has remained stable at 61%. The Baby Boomer generation is now social media’s fastest growing demographic. And since over 80 million Americans officially joined the ranks of ‘senior citizens’ this year, this trend probably isn’t going to go away.

If you use social media to reach new clients, you may have to re-think your strategy. Have you focused on marketing to younger demographic groups? It may be time to target older adults. Not only is this trend here with us to stay, but older Americans typically have plenty of disposable income.

Here are a few tips to help you take advantage of the ‘graying of social media’:

  • Focus on relationships. Older adults use social media to stay in touch with friends and far-flung family. They respond to recommendations—and criticism—from people they know. Take care of your relationships with all your clients, and your reputation with older users will increase.
  • Link your brand to images and ideas that are familiar in order to gain trust. Adult users have formed both strong opinions and brand attachments; familiar images let them feel comfortable where you ‘live’.
  • Make it easy! Baby boomers weren’t born in an age of digital technology; some are experiencing social media for the first time. Forget the fancy graphics and focus on making your site easy to use.
  • Be fascinating! Older people have been around the block a time or two, and they prefer educational and interesting content, updated frequently.

You are getting better, so you’re probably already maximizing the benefits offered by this trend. Share your ideas with us!