Nick O'Neil found this video and used in a post called "Facebook for Grandparents." I set up my eighty-something Dad on Facebook - and his reaction "Cognitive Overload!" -- Although when I posted videos of his grandchildren on his profile, he emailed me saying he enjoyed the video.
A question I'm often asked is "What are the demographics of social networking users?" and what is behind that question is the need for some information to decide what social media strategy is right for their organization's goals and audiences and further, social networking or not? I keep a couple of my links to social network site audience data here, but it is a moving target.
For example, I recently came across some recent Facebook demographics posted by Ben Lorica at O'Reilly (Hat tip Ben Rigby). Did you know that Facebook makes available demographic data through its advertising platform. Here you can obtain estimates for the number of Facebook users by age group, gender, education, country, and more. (If you want some step-by-steps, follow the instructions on slide 3). If you play around with this feature, you will learn that the majority of Facebook users (around 90%) are under age 35.
This made me wonder about social networks and baby boomers. Less than one-quarter of US Internet users ages 40 and over use social networking Web sites, according to the JWT BOOM/ThirdAge "Boomers, Healthcare and Interactive Media" study conducted last month.
The study groups baby boomers into categories by ten year increments and the analysis shows that with age, social networking site use drops sharply.
What's interesting is why they don't use social networks. The study respondents said their main problems were: privacy, time and just not seeing the point. The Social Media Optimization blog suggests there may be opportunity to appeal to boomers through smaller niche social sites, like for AARP which has added a social networking section to its web site or this network for retirees. Of course, one could also argue that if the bulk of your audience is from the baby boomer and older and you don't plan to reach out to younger people -- perhaps social networking sites are not the best Internet strategy for your organization.
The question is when the baby boomers start dying off and the younger generation comes into its own, will they look like that those people in the video above?
How has your organization made a decision about social networking? How do you consider demographic information in the decision?