Boomers are New Social Media Mavens

Baby Boomer, LawMarketing BlogBaby Boomers are spending more time on the Internet than ever, according to new CPH Research on behalf of Continuum Crew. This is one of several insights on the emergence of the new 'social media maven' among Baby Boomers, and indicates that social media has significantly carved out time generally reserved for traditional media.

Baby Boomers are defined as the generation born between 1946 and 1964, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Generation Jones, coined by television director Jonathan Pontell, is commonly considered to be those born between 1954 and 1964, representing the younger segment of Boomers. Generation Ike (Ikes) are those born between 1934 and 1945.

Top findings on media consumption are:

  • Among all media services listed, Boomers were least willing to give up the Internet, versus the top response of the 2008 survey, their cell phone. The survey shows they now spend more time than ever online (a rapid increase in one year from 38% to 62% stating they now spend more time online.
  • The majority of Ikes and Boomers have joined the popular social networking site Facebook© within the last 6 months.
  • Boomers are becoming more aware that national and local news, magazines, and to some extent television and movies, are available to them via the Internet, indicating an increasing preference to access content this way. These responses illustrate a seismic shift among older adults, says the report, experimenting in the social media arena.

In the course of the study, says the report, a significant segment emerged within the Boomer group, dubbed the new "Social Media Maven." The profile of this group is one that is heavily connected, exploring and expanding their networks.

"With more time being spent online, and the emergence of the new Social Media Mavens among Boomers, this is further confirmation for companies targeting the mature consumer that online media should be at the core of an integrated marketing campaign," said Lori Bitter, President, Continuum Crew.

These Social Media Mavens have more frequent contact with individuals across all types of groups within their social network, not just family or neighbors, but issue-oriented groups and co-workers as well:

  • 73% responded ‘People often come to me for advice.'
  • Not merely amassing ‘friends' or ‘connections' they are communicating regularly.
  • They also have more face-to-face contact and use smart phones more than other Boomers or Generation Jones respondents (78% responded ‘New technology plays an important role in my life')
  • They are equally likely to be male as female, which defies the stereotypical female! profile of the voracious social media consumer
  • Of this Social Media Maven group the majority are still working, more likely than the other segments to own their own business, most likely to engage in volunteer activity and to have the highest household income
  • Social Media Mavens are more likely to try new products, technologies and seek new experiences. They are recommenders who embrace the role of technology in their connected lives.
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