Survey: It's Time to Realize That Baby Boomers Are Social Media Influencers
Baby boomers are more concerned about health care costs than the state of the economy, and they're logging on to Facebook to chat about it, reveals a study funded by San Francisco-based Continuum Crew, a communications firm concentrating on mature consumers.
Marketers that don't personalize online campaigns for the "have-it-my-way" generation are missing out on a great opportunity, Continuum Crew President Lori Bitter said in a prepared statement that announced the Jan. 20 release of the survey.
According to the survey conducted by San Francisco-based custom research company CPH Research, what marketers need to know in order to target Americans born between 1946 and 1964 is:
- Ninety percent of them are online.
- One group of respondents, dubbed the "Social Media Mavens," is influencing more than its peers—these respondents are involved with family, friends, issue-oriented groups and co-workers. "Social Media Mavens" comprise 14 percent of boomers and make more than 20 contacts a day and about 10 recommendations a year. (About 73 percent say, "People often come to me for advice," and 78 percent say, "New technology plays an important role in my life.")
- Of those aged 55 to 63, 62 percent have joined Facebook in the last six months. (Older boomers maintaining profiles on social media networks tend to favor Facebook, at 39 percent, and Classmates.com, at 20 percent.) About 55 percent of 45- to 54-year-olds joined Facebook during the past six months, with 43 percent of respondents in this group maintaining a site profile there, with MySpace receiving 22 percent and Classmates 21 percent.
- In 2009, 62 percent of those surveyed reported spending more time online, up from 38 percent in 2008.
- Boomers report feeling anxious about health care (49 percent), with those born in 1946 nearing Medicare eligibility. About 44 percent of younger boomers were also anxious.
- Due to the national economic situation, more boomers are reporting an affinity for planning—wanting to engage with institutions that provide financial services and retirement planning, such as retirement communities.