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The Pew Internet & American Life Project kicked off their New Year’s celebration on December 30, popping the cork on a new report that details which social networks are used by baby boomers, seniors and other adults. The data reinforces Creating Results’ Social, Silver Surfers research showing that Facebook is the dominant platform for people over 50.

Per Pew, 73% of all American adults who use the Internet now also use social networking sites. Which social platforms are frequented by boomers (represented by the 50-64 year age group) and seniors (found in the 65+ group)?

Chart - percentage of online adults by age group using facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and linked in

(Click on the chart above for a larger, share-able image.) Pew’s report points out that use of Facebook by people over 65 increased 10 percentage points since 2012.

As we noted in Social, Silver Surfers, Creating Results’ new ebook on the digital practices and preferences of older adults,

“… we believe that if you had to choose only one social network for your mature marketing efforts it should be Facebook.

It’s clear from our survey and from documented usage patterns that Facebook is the 800 pound gorilla in the social networking zoo.

When it comes to unaided awareness, Facebook is thought of first, it is thought of the most. 85% of all respondents (even those who don’t use social networks at all) answered Facebook when asked to name platforms that they were familiar with.”

Our data showed a higher use of Instagram and LinkedIn by older social networkers, as the following table illustrates:

Chart - social networking platforms used by online adults over 40

Creating Results posed this query as an unaided question, so you’ll note that we discovered 70% of older adults see YouTube as a social platform. We also learned a significant number of elders see email as social. Don’t overlook these channels!

It’s a New Year, but it seems an “old” platform remains dominant for boomers and beyond. How will you apply this information to your digital marketing program? Please share your thoughts below.

About The Author

Erin Read

Erin Read spearheads integrated and digital marketing programs for organizations targeting mature consumers. She writes, researches and speaks about marketing to baby boomers and seniors. Erin has addressed local, regional, international conferences on generational marketing. She is the co-author of three national studies/eBooks (Photo Finish; Social, Silver Surfers 2010 & 2013) and the principal blogger for Mature Marketing Matters.

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