Baby Boomers Get Connected with Social Media, Too

Living longer and richer lives, they go online to stay in touch

“Creating and renewing personal connections online is the biggest draw for these boomers,” said Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, “Boomers and Social Media.” “About 47% of online boomers maintain a profile on at least one social network, according to several sources. Their contacts include family, friends and co-workers of all ages.”

Burst Media reported that 47.5% of online boomer respondents had a social network profile in June 2009. In September of that year, Deloitte found 46% of boomer respondents said they maintained a social network profile—an important difference from simply creating one and forgetting about it.

US Internet Users Who Currently Maintain a Social Networking Site Profile, by Generation, 2007-2009 (% of respondents)

Boomers’ social network presence has grown steadily since Deloitte’s 2007 survey, when only 30% said they maintained a profile on a social network. In that period, millennials’ use of social profiles remained fairly steady—and heavily penetrated—at 71% in 2007 and 77% in 2009.

Facebook is the favorite social network for boomers, as both comScore and Anderson Analytics data show.

Social Networking Sites Used by US Social Network Users, by Generation, May 2009 (% of respondents in each group)

“Boomers expect that technology will help them live longer and better lives and keep them connected to family, friends, co-workers and, eventually, healthcare providers,” said Ms. Phillips. “To fulfill these expectations, boomers are turning to social media, where they keep up their offline social connections and make new ones. Online marketing messages that help them build on their connections—and foster other online relationships—will get their interest.”

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