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BizReport : Social Marketing : August 27, 2009

Forrester Research: Facebook getting more grays

A new report from Forrester Research demonstrates that social networking is becoming as much as part of adult lives as it is teens and twenty-somethings.

by Helen Leggatt

Participation in social networks has been seen to grow among the over-35's over the last few months and a new report from Forrester indicates it is continuing to do so. Forrester's report, titled "The Broad Reach of Social Technologies", found that while younger generations are more heavily involved, social networking activity among the older age ranges is showing strong growth. For example, participation among adults aged 35-54 grew 60% over the last year.

"This means the time to build social marketing applications is now. Interactive marketers should influence social network chatter, master social communication, and develop social assets -- even if their customers are older," says the report.

And don't count out the over-55's, says Forrester analyst and report author Sean Corcoran, as even this age group is beginning to connect and share more with social media. "Seventy percent of online adults ages 55 and older tell us they tap social tools at least once a month; 26% use social networks and 12% create social content," he wrote. "As a result, social applications geared toward older adults will now reach a healthy chunk of their audience."

While social networkers aged 55 and above tended towards spectating rather than creating content, those age 35-54 were increasingly classed as "joiners" and "creators".

What these findings mean for marketers is that they can safely incorporate social media marketing strategies into campaigns aimed at older demographics and know that there will be a substantial, and engaged, audience to address.

Tags: creator, marketing strategy, older demographics, social media, social networking, target audience

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  • Patric Rayburn

    60% growth in social media participation in the 35-54 demo is significant.



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