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“In social media, not only do women rule, but it seems that the middle-aged are Social Media’s largest share holders,” writes Brian Solis in a new blog post.  Solis shares new data from a Pingdom study of 19 social networks which found the age groups that dominate the social Web are 35-44 (Gen X, 58%), 17 and under (21%) and 45-45 (younger Baby Boomers, aka Gen Jones, 16%).

In the past, we’ve counseled those marketing to Boomers and beyond to go slowly and be choosyPingdom’s studycould help marketers make some of those choices.  They found that the 35-44 age group “dominates the social media sphere,” representing 25% of the users across 19 sites.  This age group is the largest segment on 11 of the 19 social media sites.  Those 45-54 are tops on another 3 out of the 19 sites Pingdom reviewed.

AgeDistroSocialNetworkSites.pingdom

Where will you find …

The average user of a social networking site is 37 years old, reports Pingdom.  They then calculated an average age for each of the sites they studied.

* Looking for Millennials?  Try Bebo – average age 28.4.  MySpace and Xanga are close behind.

* For the not-so-Silent Generation, you might have luck with Classmates – 8% are over 65, making Classmates the site with the largest share of this mature cohort.

* Does (Gen) X mark the marketing spot for your organization?  61% of Facebook users, and 64% of Twitter-ers are over 35. 

* We were surprised to discover 20% of Friendster users are between the ages of 45 and 54, which makes them trailing edge Baby Boomers (also known as Generation Jones).

* And LinkedIn, as we’ve noted before, appears your best bet for Boomers in general.  Average age is 44.3 years old.  That’s up three years since we shared our thoughts on LinkedIn as a mature marketing vehicle in September of 2009.  More than 35% of are between 45 and 64 years old.

Be sure to read Pingdom’s post for a chart with the average ages for each of the 19 sites under review.  Useful information for those preparing their social media marketing strategies.

P.S.  Creating Results has been conducting research into the attitudes of 40+ consumers towards social media.  We recently opened up our survey to a national audience, putting a 3-minute poll online.  Whether you love or hate social networking, we’d love to hear from you!  Follow this link:  http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/233384/40-plus-social-media

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 .