Webeden Blog Social Media Older people take to Social Networking

Older people take to Social Networking

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Social Media

Here’s a story that might surprise the marketing people: despite social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter being aimed at ‘young things’, a recent study has shown that it is the older generation who are adopting social media at the fastest rate.

Research from online measurement company comScore has shown that people over 55 are more likely to spend their time on Facebook than visit a travel, business or technology website.

In May, almost 70% of those over 55 visited Facebook, Myspace or Twitter.

That being said, these figures still lag behind a younger demographic: 89% of 25 to 34 year olds spending time catching up with friends on social networking websites.

Social Networking for older people is more than just a passing fad, or a quick glance: the average 55 and over spends 3.7 hours per month on Facebook.

Mike Read, MD of comScore Europe said:  “There continues to be a misconception that social networking is the preserve of the young. While those under 35 years old are certainly the more prevalent users, there is both a sizeable and heavily engaged audience of those 35 and older as well”.

What does this mean if you’re building a website that targets this demographic? Well to start with, you might want to consider advertising on Facebook. Facebook has a self serve advertising program that allows you to reach people based on not just their age, but their gender and interest group too.

Mike Read confirms the idea: “Advertising on social networking sites has a better chance of reaching these older demographics than site categories such as business and finance, which is a critical insight that might be lost for those trying to optimise their campaign against target audience segments.”

We’ll be showing you how to advertise on Facebook in an upcoming tutorial.

The second is that this should encourage you to get to grips with the new social networking tools available within WebEden. We’ve made it really easy for you to reach out and market to people in your social networks; invite them to become members of your site; and update Facebook from your WebEden website.

Even if you thought you are targeting people ‘who wouldn’t be into that social networking thing’, this research indicates you might be wrong.

Is social networking trans-generational?  Are you using your social networks to create interest in your website? Leave us a comment below.

  • http://www.alisoncross.webeden.co.uk Alison Cross

    Another reference for you. Benjamin Disraeli: ‘There are lies, damned lies – and statistics’. So I popped over to comscore.com to read more about this – honestly, there aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with everything!

    Given that our island population is about 61m, this means that about 60% of us were on-line in May. Was it a particularly wet May? Were more people logging on to find out about MPs expenses and swine flu?! Maybe.

    However, re the Social Networking factor. It’s up by 7% on the previous year, so businesses CANNOT ignore the likes of Facebook, Twitter etc as a potential audience for their products/services (see Ken’s earlier posting this month about Quba report).

    Nice to see that the 55s and over are enjoying the internet. Now, all we need to do is persuade them to use it for something worthwhile instead of surfing Facebook ;-)

    Also noteworthy – Bebo dropped and so did Friends Reunited. On the up – Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Tagged, Deviant Art and Buzznet.


  • admin

    I wonder what will happen with Friends Reunited. Seems like a long time since they came up in conversation.

    The rumour today is that it has just been bought for £15m, down from the £120m that ITV paid for it 3 years ago…