Do Baby Boomers actually use social media? We asked 1,000 of them in our recent survey to better understand this group and their social media preferences. We wanted to know where they spend their time on social media and what actions they take as a result of these social media activities. Some of the discoveries surprised us.
What We Learned
The team of researchers at the DMN3 Institute set out to find answers to questions about Boomers and social media behavior. After researching and talking to 1,000 online Boomers and Seniors (aged 50 to 82), we've learned a few things.
1. Boomers are turning to social media in greater numbers.
Our research found that 91% of Baby Boomers use one or more social media sites. About 17% of the group we surveyed spend 11+ hours per week on Facebook.
2. Facebook is king.
Facebook dominates the social space among many demographics, including Baby Boomers. We asked our respondents, "Which of the following social networking sites do you use or belong to?" An overwhelming 84.9% of Boomers said they use or belong to Facebook. If you want to reach Boomers on social media, it’s necessary to add Facebook marketing to your social media strategy.
Discover: 10 Ways to Reach Boomers on Facebook
3. Boomers shun Instagram.
There are 300 million monthly users on Instagram. We were surprised to find that, based on our survey, only a small fraction of these are Baby Boomers. Our study found that only 15.9% of Boomers own accounts on Instagram. Even though this group is plugged in, you must know which platforms work best for your audience. Instagram isn’t one of them.
There is one social media platform that is less popular than Instagram among Boomers: Myspace. It ranked last with a mere 8.1%.
4. Social Media triggers other actions.
What action do Boomers take immediately after browsing a social media site? Our online respondents say the top three actions were:
- "Vsited a company website" (58.3%)
- "Continued search on a search engine" (57.2%)
- "Liked, shared or commented on a status update" (51.3%)
What You Can Do
Baby Boomers are becoming more social media savvy. They use social media to keep in touch with family, stay on top current events and learn more about the people and products they care about. Social media presents a critical opportunity for brands and marketers trying to reach Boomers.
Here are some takeaways:
1. Understand Boomer needs.
Social media is a powerful way to connect with Baby Boomers. Start by understanding the needs of your audience. For each offer you present, ask yourself, "What would make this easier or more convenient? What content format will work best for this group?"
2. Use context to deliver relevant content.
Be sure your content is relevant to Boomers. Keep their age and preferences in mind when creating content specifically for Boomers and Seniors. Avoid excessive use of jargon.
3. Show off your brand personality.
Social media is the perfect place for personable marketing. Use a pleasant personality to win older consumers on social media.
More Boomer Insights...
- The No. 1 Online Activity Among Boomers
What's the most popular online activity among Baby Boomers? Online shopping? Email? Research? Find out what 96.1% of our Boomer respondents indicated as their top online activity.
- Boomers vs. Millennials [Infographic]
Boomers and Millennials respond to different motivators, issues and causes. This infographic shows key differences that will help marketers understand how best to reach these two groups.
- Case Study: How to Engage Boomers on Facebook
Our campaign targeting Boomers and Seniors and exceeded the client's goal by 255%. See an insider's look at our campaign strategy and some key takeaways you can apply to your own marketing.