When I teach social media to students at San Francisco State or AcademyX or Hult International Business School, I always get the same "Are you crazy?" look when I tell them 33% of Twitter is made up of 55 years and older. And, it's growing. Since 2012, that age bracket (55-64) has grown 79% on Twitter. However it's not just Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus are growing too, among older demographics.
First, the people that are on Twitter that are in that age bracket aren't your grandmas, grandmas are on Facebook to see pictures of the grand kids. On Twitter, that age bracket is made up of CxO level executives, VPs and small business owners who know that being on social media is essential to their overall marketing strategy. Facebook and Google Plus have seen growth in the 45-54 year old bracket by 46% and 56% respectively this year since 2012. But why is that? Here are some of the contributing factors.
- People ages 45-54 (born 1959-1968) represent the tail end of the Baby Boomers and the beginning of Gen Xers. Gen Xers seek extensive peer input which is why social media is so popular among them. Nothing more than social media has made it so easy to get peer input. Gen Xers also prefer non-textual information and with the growth of images in the past year, it's a haven for Gen Xers. The tail end of the Baby Boomers are very cause-oriented
- According to Pew Research Center, by 2030, when all Baby Boomers will have turned 65, fully 18% of the nation's population will be at least that age, according to Pew Research Center population projections. Today, just 13% of Americans are ages 65 and older.
- According to Homecaremag.com, 38-42 percent of Boomers use social networking, and one in five use social media sites as a source of health-care information.
- According to Diana Neal who wrote an article for SocialMediaToday.com, Baby Boomers have more disposable income than any other age group, and their looking to spend it. (70% of all US disposable income to be exact. )
- Boomers are utilizing mobile technology. From a study by eMarketer, 49% of Boomer/Senior tablet users and 40% of smartphone users made at least one purchase within the last year after gathering information on their mobile device.
"Not all Boomers are alike. Avoid lumping them into a group, since someone born in 1946 clearly has different experiences than someone born in 1964. Analyze your city, town or marketing area carefully." - Collette A. Weil
How are you marketing to baby boomers?
Image Credit: BoomersLife.org