According to Nielsen and NM Incite’s latest social media study titled, “State of the Media: The Social Media Report 2012” the popularity of social media continues to grow and is having a profound influence on how Americans shop and buy. The recent report provides statistical evidence on how powerful this influence is and the impact it is having on consumer behavior.
Social networks and blogs now reach nearly 80 percent of active U.S. Internet users and comprise the majority of Americans time spent online. As the influence of social media continues to grow, it is essential for senior living communities to understand how user dynamics are changing and how they are key to your community’s relevance and development.
Key Report Findings
- Social media has grown rapidly – today nearly four in five active Internet users visit social networks and blogs.
- 70 percent of active online adult social networkers shop online, 12 percent more likely than the average adult Internet user.
- Internet users over age 55 are driving the growth of social networking through the mobile Internet.
- Social networks and blogs continue to dominate Americans’ time online.
- Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do on any other U.S. website. Pinterest has emerged as the fastest growing new media.
- Close to 40 percent of social media users access social media content from their mobile phone
- Social networking apps are the third most-used among U.S. smartphone owners.
- Although a larger number of women view online video on social networks and blogs, men are the heaviest online video users overall, streaming more videos and watching them longer
- 53 percent of active adult social networkers follow a brand.
- Tumblr is an emerging player in social media, nearly tripling its audience from a year ago.
As social media continues to grow, it offers consumers convenient new ways to engage with the people and brands that are important to them. According to the Nielsen study, consumers continue to spend more time on social networks than on any other category of sites. Total time spent on social media in the U.S. increased 37 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012. While personal computers continue to be the predominant tool for social media access, consumers’ time spent with social media on mobile apps and the mobile web increased 63 percent in 2012.
Implications for Senior Living Providers
According to a 2013 study by Pew Research Center, the number of seniors and Baby Boomers engaging in social media has continued to increase for the fourth year in a row. The report concludes that one of the more striking stories about the social networking population has been the growth among older Internet users in recent years. Those age 65 and older have roughly tripled their presence on social networking sites in the last four years—from 13 percent in the spring of 2009 to 43 percent now.
Clearly, senior adults are embracing social media. While those age 65 and over have not yet reached the 50 percent user rate, their recent growth has been dramatic. Additionally, 78 percent of 30-to 49-year-olds and 60 percent of 50-to 64-year-olds are now active on the social web. Thus, social media has become a growing resource for both those seniors looking for care and for their adult children shopping for them.
Expert Social Media Help Is Available
If you have not yet entered the social media and marketing world or are looking to strengthen your current social media platform to fuel growth, you may want to consider special expertise. If you need assistance in website design, development and optimization, creation of growth-focused social media such as blogs and Facebook or the development of a social media strategy that is integrated with your traditional marketing plan, be sure to look for an experienced organization that operates exclusively in the senior living marketplace and has the specialized expertise and experience in senior living sales and marketing solutions required to succeed.