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  • Social Media Is Growing Up


    Posted on June 15, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    According to a recent Harris Interactive study and reported in AdWeek, the largest growing demographic of social media users are people aged 45+. This makes sense. Younger people took to the medium early and joined in the early stages. Older people did not. Now older people are coming in at numbers that stagger. Whether their reasons are for business, pleasure, or a combination of the two your audience as a professional services marketer is flocking to this space.

    Consider this growth in user numbers of Facebook as reported by

    1. Between September 2008 and March 2009 the growth of older demographics on Facebook exploded. In moving up the demographic ladder from 35-44 to 45-54 and finally 55-64 the approximate percent growths were 275% to 400% to 450% respectively.

    2. Facebook has roughly 56.1 million users between the ages of 13 and 65. The 13-25 demo accounts for 25.5 million of this leaving over 30 million users 26+. Of those 30 million, 17.2 million of them are in your core demo of 35-65.

    Now look at some numbers on Twitter thanks to and MediaWeek:

    1. Twitter is the most age neutral social media outlet. 8% of 18-34 year olds have Twitter accounts while 7% of 35-44 year olds and 4% of 45-54 year olds have one. (AdWeek, 4/27/09)

    2. Older people and 30 somethings love Twitter. Hyperactive teenagers do not. Considering that Twitter indexes in usage at a 136 for the 45-54 crowd and a 130 for the 35-44 people I would say the first statement is true. As for the second, 12-17 year olds index at a 59. (, “Twitter Traffic Explodes… And Not Being Driven by the Usual Suspects”) If you want a social media platform to directly reach your audience and buyers, Twitter is it.

    Yes social media is still by and large dominated by the younger people, but with that 35+ age bracket ever expanding, it is growing up. More important is that as this growth continues you have the opportunity to connect with both the management of today (45-64) as well as tomorrow (35-44). Plus, while you’re at it maybe you can track down your old college roommate.

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Burkey Belser

Burkey Belser

Burkey Belser, president and creative director, pioneered legal services marketing. He has been quoted on brand design topics by dozens of industry publications and is highly rated as a speaker on topics from branding to information design.