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Survey: Older Adults, High Incomes now on Social Media

Older Adults with High Incomes on Social MediaOur Los Angeles social media agency has good news for brands that want to target older adults on social media: With each passing year, social media use increases more among this age group. The data comes from Pew Research Center, which conducts an annual Internet Research and American Life Tracking survey to study social media habits of adults. Here are some findings from the 2013 survey:

  • 72% of online adults use social media sites
  • The use of social media among senior citizens (65 and older) has tripled since 2009
  • 43% of adults age 65 and older are now on social media
  • In 2010, roughly 9% of adults used Twitter – that number has now doubled to 18%

Another interesting observation: From 2005-08, social media use in the 18-29 age category shot upward to 80% during the three year period. Older adults took much longer, with the 50-64 age category not reaching 50% social media use until 2009 and plateauing at 60% in 2013. As for seniors, only 13% of them were using social media in 2009. It took even longer for this category, four years, to hit its current mark of 43% social media adoption. Nonetheless, nearly half of them are now there – which means that brands can now reach a much older audience on social media.

What It Means for Marketers

These statistics open the doors wide open for brands that are targeting older adults. For one thing, they debunk the myth once and for all that social media sites like Facebook are “just for kids.” Even Twitter, which is often thought to be only suitable for targeting younger consumers, boats a 13% user rate among adults ages 50-64.

The survey found that 18% of adults are on Twitter, making the percentage of baby boomers using the site just a few points shy of the percentage of adults using it overall. The conclusion: Even on Twitter, brands shouldn’t write off the idea of marketing to older adults.

High Incomes = High Social Media Use

One of the more surprising elements of the survey concerns the use of social media in higher income categories. The demographics show similar social media habits across education level and economic background, with 71% of adults with annual incomes of $75,000 or more using social media sites. This figure exposes the idea of Facebook and Twitter being for “people with nothing to do” as a myth, and can inspire marketers that want to target more affluent audiences on social media (in addition to those sites, LinkedIn is another good place to go to target high income consumers).

Making the Most of the Data

2013 Pew Research Statistics Regarding Older Adults on Social Media

It is one thing to know the numbers about your targeted demographic; it’s another thing to do something with them. Brands need a strong social media agency to help them make the most of what they know about their older adult audience; Crest Media, a Los Angeles social media firm, can be that agency.

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