Social media has become a beckoning giant in the internet world. People are flocking to Facebook like ants to a picnic. Hordes of micro bloggers are hammering out 140 character posts on Twitter. Social media is revolutionizing the way we live – just as the world was glued to the radio during the Great Depression.
What continually surprises me – is the recent influx of older users experimenting with social media activity. Thousands of baby boomer aged internet users are continually “feeling the waters” of social media.
For example, in my own circle of friends & family – I’m seeing a strong interest in social media from elder individuals. Specifically Facebook. My Aunts, Uncles, and even Grandparents – are interested in setting up a Facebook account. “Hey, Christian – what’s this thing called Facebook? Can I get one? Would you be able to set it up for me?”
These are individuals who rarely use email – yet, are being seduced by the social media craze. It’s phenomenal.
Through Their Eyes
What is it about Facebook that attracts crowds of all ages?
In an effort to gain insight into its appeal towards older users, I decided to sit down with my Aunt – and discuss her interests in using Facebook. What made her want to use Facebook, over other social media choices?
She stated, for one, it’s less intrusive than MySpace. Less eye-burning ads, a simple layout, and straightforward profile management. Her desire was to connect with old friends, share a summary of her life, and become closer to her nieces, nephews, and grandchildren (the younger crowd).
What can we learn from her thoughts? For one - it’s important to analyze your blog’s demographics. Determine what age group is primarily using your site – and work from that information. If you happen to have a strong following of older users, incorporate design and usability features which cater to their needs.
We also see that, on a whole, the general public is seeing social media as an accepted form of communication. It’s already a strong internet force – and only becoming stronger.
I pose the question. Which social media platform has the most attraction in your opinion – when it comes to baby boomer users? And why?