Corporate Eye

Social Media Use Among Older Adults Nearly Doubles in One Year

If your brand is targeted to older adults, and you’ve heretofore thought that you didn’t need a social media presence because older adults don’t spend time on the social web, you’re wrong.

A new study from Pew Research Center tells us that use of social media among older adults in the United States, age 50 and older, has nearly doubled over the past year from 22% to 42%.

But there’s more compelling data…

According to the Pew Research Center study, 47% of Internet users between the ages of 50-64 (that’s 1 out of every 2 people in that age group) and 26% over the age of 65 (1 in 4 people) use social networking sites.

And this is not a group of people who isn’t making use of the various tools and features available to them.  On the contrary, they’re using social media to share, “links, photos, videos, news and status updates with a growing network of contacts.”

Facebook and LinkedIn are the most popular social networking sites for older adults.

But wait.  There’s still more…

11% of Internet users between the ages of 50-64 (that’s 1 in 10 people) and 5% over the age of 65 use Twitter or a similar service, “to share updates about themselves of see updates about others.”

Still not convinced that brands targeted at older audiences should be on the social web?  Then consider this…

Older adults aren’t just signing up for social network or Twitter accounts and never using them again.  According to the Pew Research Center study, 20% of Internet users between the ages of 50-64 (1 in 5) and 13% over the age of 65 use social networking sites everyday.

So what do you think now?

The following two tabs change content below.
Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.