How Older Generations (50+) Use Social Media

Amy McIlwain
Amy McIlwain • Posted on Jul 14, 2014

The growth of older generations using social media has been staggering over the past three years. In fact, the 50 and over age group is the fastest growing demographic online. Not only is 76% of this generation going online on a daily basis (Pew Internet), but they also account for the majority of the online consumer population.

Social Media Use By Older Americans Has Nearly Tripled Since 2009

How are the older generations using social media?

According to the 2014 Facebook Demographics Report, the biggest population growth for the platform came from the 55+ age group. And, it’s no surprise. Facebook has opened the doors for every age group to connect with friends and family, as well as keeping them in the loop on news and world events.

LinkedIn is another popular social network for this generation, accounting for more than half of all overall users. Many of these users have embraced social media for the power it holds as they shift careers, pursue passions and get industry news.

YouTube attracts a surprising percentage of older users, with the largest percentage in the 45-54 age bracket, followed closely by those aged 55-64.

Twitter has the least number of older users with only 18% reporting to be over the age of 50. Seniors are using Twitter to find health information and follow news / literary publications.

As we know, social media is an easy way to stay connected and up to date on the latest happenings. Older generations report using social media mostly to connect with families, look for news and information, to play games online and to participate in contests. Not only are they highly engaged, they also have 47 times the net worth of households 35 and older.

What does this mean for financial advisors?

Your 50+ clients and prospects are online and they are searching for news and helpful information! Social media is a great channel to engage with these people and position yourself as an expert. Talk to them, share helpful tips and recent news, and expand your reach.

Brand needs to understand how to market to senior citizens before all of the Boomers retire, because they are a demographic that will be more computer literate than any senior generation before.

The number of seniors who own cell phones has jumped a staggering 57% from 2010-2012 alone (Pew Internet). Because of this dramatic growth and the progression to adopt new technologies, we predict that social usage is bound to continue to grow even more in the coming years.

So, if your firm is using social media to prospect and connect with clients, keep up the good work! You will be noticed. If you have yet to jump on the social media bandwagon, now is the time. Your target audience is present and waiting.

See more at Financial Social Media



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