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Part 2 of a series on using Social Media to market to Boomers and beyond.


The media appears to have fallen in love with Twitter (heck, even my 97-year-old Nana has heard of Twitter by now). Who’s on Twitter? The New York Times reports that younger Boomers are fueling Twitter’s growth, while Sysomos data suggests 81% of all Twitter users are 29 or younger.  How important is Twitter for marketing to Baby Boomers and seniors?

Paul Briand of the Examiner notes “Baby Boomers 55 to 64 are Twitter users on a slightly lower level, but at a greater frequency than users aged 18 to 24. That’s because Twitter has become less of a social network and more of a marketing/social network.” We see that as in keeping with this cohort’s lifestage; it’s a time in their lives when they are focused on both social and vocational development.

The New York Times points out mature consumers and technology adoption are not actually strange bedfellows.

As the Web grows up, so do its users, and for many analysts, Twitter’s success represents a new model for Internet success. The notion that children are essential to a new technology’s success has proved to be largely a myth.

Adults have driven the growth of many perennially popular Web services. YouTube attracted young adults and then senior citizens before teenagers piled on. Blogger’s early user base was adults and LinkedIn has built a successful social network with professionals as its target.

At Creating Results, the jury’s still out on Twitter’s effectiveness as a business engine for effectively motivating seniors and Boomers to buy.

A positive Twitter case study and somewhat murky stats

On the pro side we have JetBlue Airlines.

* Per Quantcast, JetBlue’s online user audience is predominantly mature – their web visitors are older than the internet average – and fairly wealthy – 63% of users report a household income of $60K or greater.

* Jet Blue has gained 1 million followers on Twitter – one in five of these visitors are reported to have visited their corporate website in the same month.

* recently blogged that Twitter visitors were 10% more likely to complete a booking with JetBlue than those that did not visit that social network. If accurate, that’s a positive link between tweets and revenue.

On the con side we have these numbers:

* The median number of “tweets” (as messages broadcast by Twitter are called) is ONE tweet per user in a lifetime.

* Recent Nielsen data showed 60% of Twitter users don’t come back the next month. These mature users sign up, don’t see the value or relevance to their lives, then say “I’m outta here.”

* June 2009 data from LinkedIn and Harris Interactive showed that only 31% of all internet users were familiar with Twitter. 80% of our favorite folks – those 55 or better – said they were not familiar enough with the service to form an opinion.

Are mature internet users truly driving the growth of Twitter? And can Twitter drive the growth of sales to Boomers and beyond?

Share your thoughts here, or let us know via Twitter (@CreatingResults).

– Part I, an overview of Social Networking and Marketing to Baby Boomers/Seniors

– Later this week, insights on mature consumers and Facebook, LinkedIn and Boomer-targeted niche sites

About The Author

Erin Read

For nearly 13 years, Erin Read spearheaded integrated and digital marketing programs for Creating Results' clients. She directed and co-authored four national studies/eBooks (Photo Finish and three editions of Social, Silver Surfers) and served as the principal blogger for Mature Marketing Matters. Now a consultant to the agency, Erin is leveraging her expertise in marketing to baby boomers and seniors while tackling new challenges. Find her on LinkedIn .