Baby Boomers in Europe use Social Media

We know baby boomers in the US are increasing using social media –FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, to name a few.  And the same trend is going on in Europe according to a new report from Forrester Research.

Forrester’s Blog says, “For example, more than one-third of European online consumers ages 43 to 63 already read social media such as blogs and forums on a regular basis, and around one-tenth are already uploading their own content — such as videos and music — onto the Web. Overall, 47% of Younger Boomers (online adults ages 43 to 52) now engage with social media on a regular basis, and 41% of Older Boomers (those ages 53 to 63) do. Boomers in the different European countries exhibit different behaviors, just as their younger compatriots do – for example, 69% of Dutch 43- to 52-year-olds (and 60% of 53- 63-year-olds) use social media on a regular basis, whilst only around a third of German Boomers do. ”  More stats on the Forrester  interactive marekting blog.

More evidence that social media is a tool that boomer and senior marketers should pay attention to.


Younger Boomers Helping Drive Twitter Growth

twitter-chart1Have we finally broken the cylce of early technology adoption always begins with the younger generation? The latest Comscore numbers show strong use of Twitter by younger boomers.



It is the 25-54 year old crowd that is actually driving the growth trend. More specifically, 45-54 year olds are 36 percent more likely than average to visit Twitter, making them the highest indexing age group,.  They are followed by 25-34 year olds, who are 30 percent more likely. 

And even the leading edge boomers seem to be more attracted to twitter than the younger crowd. 

Worldwide visitors to Twitter approached 10 million in February, up an impressive 700+% vs. year ago. The past two months alone have seen worldwide visitors climb more than 5 million visitors. U.S. traffic growth has been just as dramatic, with Twitter reaching 4 million visitors in February, up more than 1,000% from a year ago, according to ComScore.

It’s another reason for companies targeting boomers to take a look at adding Twitter to their marketing mix.

posted by Laura Rossman

Baby Boomer Women Growing Networks Online and Offline

For women 50 plus, social networks are continuing to expand – not contract .Defying the stereotypes of increasing marginalization as they age, not only are their networks growing, they are growing online. That’s the conclusion of a new white paper released by  


The study found:

  • The personal networks of women 50+ are large and growing.
  • They are in personal contact with at least 46 people each month.
  • 65% share information online with others in their network.
  • They are comfortable relying on referrals from strangers online if the source is knowledgeable/experienced.  They rely on references on websites like (70%), Ebay (54%) and Tripadvisor (27%).


It also found that Vibrant Women are open to trying new brands and experiences and motivated by a variety of psycho-social factors including:

  • Financial status –even with the recession, Vibrant Women continue to have discretionary income.
  • Life stage transitions 9such as last chilled leaving home, starting a business, losing a parent or spouse)
  • Physical changes (menopause, aging, surviving breast cancer)
  • New family roles (grandparent, caregiver)
  • Social Awareness (travel, volunteer work) 

The study is base on a survey of 1,000 boomer women with household incomes greater than $75,000.


Businesses Seeking Boomers Should Add Social Media to Marketing Mix

 More businesses are turning to the Internet to find and engage with baby boomer customers.  Boomers are using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and social networking sites in increasing numbers.  Business leaders will gather at the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit ( on March 19 to find out how to effectively reach baby boomers online.


“Boomers are a natural fit for social networks and technologies. They have the time, the life experience, and—more and more these days—the need for social tools to help them accomplish their own goals.” said Matthew Lees, Vice President, Analyst, Patricia Seybold Group.


“The fact that they’ve been relatively slow to embrace social media underscores more of an opportunity than any innate inability or aversion. But they don’t want to be marketed to. Those organizations that can use social media to engage with, learn from, and support boomers will find especially receptive partners and, consequently, greater business success than those who see social media simply as another marketing channel.”.” Lees added.  Lees will present information at the Summit about boomers online and insight on how to effectively reach them.


Baby boomers are also actively engaged in user generated content such as ratings and reviews. “While it’s true that Millenials (the 13-24 generation) share content at double the rate of baby boomers (56%), 31% of Baby Boomers share their own user generated content. This could be in the form of reviews, blog posts, comments, discussion forums, etc.” noted Sam Decker, Chief Marketing Officer of Bazzaarvoice.  Decker will be at the Boomer Summit speaking about boomers and user generated content.

David Weigelt, co-author of Dot Boom, Marketing to Baby Boomers Online through Meaningful Online Engagement will speak about how to connect with boomers online.  The book unites a developmental marketing approach and a new definition of online engagement specific to baby boomer consumers — a combination that provides an actionable framework for connecting with these consumers online.


In the current economy, more businesses are seeking effective ways to reach the 58 million baby boomers online.  The What’s Next Boomer Business Summit ( will include: New research on the new attitudes of baby boomers in this economy; how to market successfully to baby boomers online; search engine and key word strategies that work; how to create online boomer communities that build trust and sales; and, new ways to reach the 44 million caregivers.  


Other speakers include:

Entrepreneurship and social media: Guy Kawasaki, Author, founder Alltop


Networking -Ellen Levy, Vice President Corporate Development & Strategy, LinkedIn


Demographics – Jody Holtzman, Senior V.P., Research & Strategic Analysis, AARP


Money -Sandra Timmermann, Executive Director, MetLife Mature Market Institute


Caregiving – Andy Cohen, Founder & CEO,


Online communities – Elisa Camahort Page, Founder & COO, BlogHer


Boomer women online – Carol Orsborn, PhD, Senior Strategist,


Boomer volunteers – Sarah Christian, Director, Strategic Partnerships, VolunteerMatch


Brain fitness – Jeff Zimman, Co-founder & Chairman, Posit Science


Search engine strategies – Bill Leake, CEO, Apogee Search


Leading edge boomers – Jennifer Keating Magee, CEO, Keating Magee


New research– Steve French, Managing Partner, Natural Marketing Institute


Program, speaker and registration information is available at    Registration is just $325 until March 12.  The Summit is held in conjunction with the Aging in America Conference of the American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging, March 15-19, 2009..


Attendees include brand managers, corporate strategists, entrepreneurs, non-profit executives, marketing agency executives and publishers responsible for growing their boomer business.


Sponsors include: AARP, Microsoft, Council on Aging Silicon Valley, Wells Fargo, Alltop,, EquityKey, HeartMath, Immersion Active, Keating Magee, LiveWorld, MetLife Mature Market Institute, Myine Electronics, Posit Science, The Stress Institute, Verizon,, VolunteeerMatch, Retirement Living TV, ReadHowYouWant, HipCricket, Life Stages Financial, and Moving Mavins.  Southwest Airlines is the official airline sponsor of the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit.

Baby Boomer Women Will Drive the Use of Social Media

forrester-research-on-social-mediaThere has been a flurry of blog postings lately on the wonder of baby boomers using social media and social networking.  It seems to stem from an updated report from Forrester Researcher Jeremiah Owyang . 

It’s no surprise to us and probably many of you who will be attending the Boomer Summit , March 19.   We’ve been posting other research on the increased use of social media by this demographic, especially some of the data coming out of the Pew Research Center.

We haven’t seen data broken down by gender, but believe that boomer women will drive the growth of social media in this demographic.  Why?  Social media is about relationships and women, as they age, rely heavily on their networks.  And in the current economy, women have face increasing pressures.  So they want to reach out to others to share stories and talk about  caregiving, adult children returning home, financially supporting their parents and their children, worrying about their job or lack of job,  sharing joys of grandparenting and successes and ways to keep the family closer as the life we expected increasingly feels like it is unraveling.

Sam Decker recently noted on his blog that Boomers make up of 35% of the Internet population.  He said, while it’s true that Millenials (the 13-24 generation) share content at double the rate of  baby boomers (56%), 31% of Baby Boomers share their own user generated content. This could be in the form of reviews, blog posts, comments, discussion forums, etc.  Sam,  CMO of Bazzaarvoice, will be at the Boomer Summit talking about about user generated content.

Carol Orsborn from  will talk about the use of social media by women; Andy Cohen from  will share how marketers are using niche sites to reach boomer women caregivers; and Jerry Shereshewsky from will talk about how  the  market of 70 million grandparents are using the Internet to share stories and buy for their grandchildren.

Social Media Best For Brand Building and Awareness

chartofweek-02-17-09There’s lots of talk about social media, but what do marketers expect it to deliver?  Brand building and reputation top the list.  If you are looking to immediately generate direct leads and sales, look elsewhere. 
More than 90% of companies believe that social media is most effective in building brand reputation and awareness. That result is followed closely by goals for attracting website visitors, according to exclusive research in MarketingSherpa’s new Social Media Marketing and PR Benchmark Guide.

Direct marketing, such as lead generation and sales conversion, are second-tier expectations.  The conversational and relationship-building nature of social media is more like PR,and more likely to help accomplish branding goals.  So building buzz might lead to eventual sales. 

some companies are using it to improve internal communications as they test theis new media.  It is  a desirable social-media training and proving ground because the risk of exposing confidential information to the public is far less likely to occur in a self-contained environment.

So as with all campaigns, picking the right tool to fit your goals is key to success.  No matter how much buzz about new media, you need to use it in the right way with the right expectations.  For businesses targeting boomers, now is the time to be testing new media strategies as boomers are adopting it into their lives.

Watch Out Social Networking: The Baby Boomers are Coming


The 78 million baby boomer generation promises to fuel the growth of social networking.  Marketers take note and you better start figuring out how this generation will use social media.

The number of Internet users visiting social networks at least once per month increased an estimated 11% in 2008, to 79.5 million, and will rise another 11% in 2009, to 88.1 million. Between 2008 and 2013, the number of social network users in the US will increase by an estimated 44.2%, to nearly 115 million, according to a new report by eMarketer.

With penetration already high among teens and young adults, there is little room for further growth among those demographics. Growth will come from members of Generation X and baby boomers, but there will also be increased activity in the tween market. User engagement has yet to hit a plateau. In fact, people who join social networks in 2009 and beyond may become frequent users more rapidly than those who first joined a year or two ago.

Key social networking trends to watch in 2009 include the expanding user demographics and continued rise in engagement, the impact of mobile social networking and Twitter, and whether the substantial growth of Facebook in the second half of 2008 can continue, the report said.

How baby boomers are using social networking will be a key theme at the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit on March 19 at Bally’s in Las Vegas (  Speakers will cover what caregivers are doing online (, women over 50 ( and grandparents (  User generated content and boomer communities online will be covered by speakers from Bazaarvoice, VolunteerMatch, LiveWorld and BlogHer.  Keynote speaker is Guy Kawasaki who will talk about the importance of using new marketing tools to build your business. The meeting covers business and marketing strategies to reach the 78 million baby boomers.  for the full agenda and registration information.