What are they doing? They’re joining online social networks. And loving it.
This past year – 2011 – social networking by seniors almost doubled, going from 22 percent to 42 percent.
Yes, seniors are becoming much more comfortable using computers and the internet. And they’ve really become engaged in social networking.
The Senior Social Network
According to the AARP, roughly a quarter of their members are using the Facebook site regularly – and that number is on the rise. In fact, the top online activities that are engaged in by those over age 60 include:
Why are seniors on social networks? Like their children and grandchildren, seniors are engaging in social media activities to connect family and friends – and reconnect with those they may have lost touch with over the years.
But that’s only part of the story. Many seniors are spending time on social networks including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for business purposes. These days, people are staying active longer. Many are working in their “retirement years”, and the internet provides a variety of opportunities for operating a business from home. Social media is an ideal tool for marketing their products or services.
Social networking also gives seniors access to a variety of health information relevant to their age group. From online forums, chat rooms and blogs, they can communicate with others, share information, become better educated and even find ways to better manage and cope with whatever illness or issue they’re facing. Social networks have become virtual support groups.
A Growing Group
Young adults continue to be the most likely users of social media. But the percentage of senior users is on a rapid rise. Twenty percent of people between the ages of 50 and 64 state that they use social networking websites on a daily basis, as do 13 percent of those who are age 65 and older.
As the baby boomers age and seniors continue to become computer and internet savvy, these numbers are expected to increase.
Your Web Presence
These days, just having a website isn’t enough. You’ve got to engage your audience. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with your target demographic. Social networking is a valuable marketing strategy for any senior living community. Your presence on the web and within social media networks allows you to forge relationships with your audience before there’s a need.