generationssocial media

Boomers and social networks…

Recently, I needed to understand the scope of social media use by generation. Given the broad definition of  social media (social networks, blogs, collaboration tools, wiki, video/image sharing and so much more),  the focus was narrowed to social networks. Social networks are online communities such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, Ning niche networks, etc..

The suspicion was that Boomers would not be participating on social networks in a substantial way. Wrong.   


US Population by generation and online behaviorKey Findings:

  • Today Millennials (adults 18-32 years old) make up just under half of the Social Network Population.
  • Boomers (adults 45- 62 years old) are the fastest growing segment on social networks.
  • If Boomers continue to join social networks at their current pace, Boomers will be the majority of social network participants by 2012.
  • The vast majority of Boomers are not on social networks –  but they are online.


  • Social networks can not be ignored by marketers as they are becoming part of how most people live and the scale is undeniable.
  • Each network has its own demographics, culture and  offering.
  • Before diving in: have a strategy, select the right network(s), and  respect the culture of the network for a positive result.
  •  Social networks should be synergistic with other marketing efforts both online and offline. They are large, but they don’t touch everyone and not every product will resonant in the forum.