Baby boomers are turning to their own social networking sites thanks to start-ups like multiply.com. According to this article from the NY Times, the same venture capitalists who poured funding into myspace, facebook and other teen oriented social networking sites are now supporting the startups catering to baby boomers and ‘grey’ internet users.
Although teens and young business people are viewed as tech savvy digital natives, there are millions of boomers who make use of computing as part of their work life. These older digital immigrants are skilled in the use of computers and the internet. Many of them now have the time to spend in pursuit of interests such as recreational activities and travel, hobbies, social interactions, financial and retirement planning and other activities that are part of this phase in their life. The sites aimed at an older audience may not grow as quickly as MySpace, but they could have longevity. As well, typically the boomers are in better financial shape than young teens and not only do they have a lot more money, they pay a lot more attention to advertisers. Here is a link to a blogpost listing the latest boomer social networking sites if you’re curious to know more.
If your target market is in the 44 to 65 age group (a wide category of boomers) now is the time to look to the web and web 2.0 as a serious marketing and promotional tool. In Canada it is estimated that nearly one out of every three Canadians is a boomer and retirement-minded Canadians aged 55 to 64 are the fastest growing demographic. According to a survey from a large financial firm, forty-six per cent (of survey respondents from Alberta) said they spend time planning exercise, 44 per cent on diet, 27 per cent on car maintenance, 37 per cent on home renovations and 40 per cent spend more time planning travel, when compared to planning for retirement.
I’ve wandered a bit from the title of this post, but it was with a purpose – boomers as a demographic and target for web based marketing. The numbers are there, they are using the internet and are eager to do business with you.
One thought on “Social Networking for Boomers”
Since older users are harder to obtain than trend-jumping teenagers, I think these sites will most likely not grow as quickly as MySpace or Facebook however they may offer greater longevity due to the reliability of the more mature user.