The Rise of the Silver Social Surfer
Although Facebook and other popular social networking sites are predominantly associated with teens and young adults, even middle-aged professionals to an extent, it remains to be associated with the retired. However, research has revealed that the silver social surfer is rising and looks set to stay.
With families geographically located apart from one another, experts are suggesting that more silver surfers are taking to social networking sites to stay in touch with loved ones than ever before. In fact, the older generations account for the biggest growth when it comes to new users on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. According to research, around 49 per cent of over 55 social network users have only been registered for less than two years. In the last two years, the amount of over 65 year olds who visited Facebook more than doubled, as has the amount who visited Twitter within the same age group.
Some critics might suggest that setting up a profile isn\'t enough to prove the above point - it can be argued that young people create an account for the older members of their family but then the relative in question doesn\'t continue using the account. In actual fact, around 32 per cent of users aged 55 and over use Facebook to regularly ‘like,\' comment and share content.
An important point to bear in mind is that because the majority of individuals within that age group are retired, they are able to spend longer online than other age groups and have normally have more disposable income - making them the ideal group for brands to be targeting on social networking sites. Offering competitions, opportunities to discuss matters and even social gaming are all factors that should be taken into consideration by brands whose core market are silver surfers.
With courses taking place within retirement homes and as more silver surfers take to social networking sites, it is key that brands take this age group as an important and somewhat influential collection of consumers instead of focusing social media PR and marketing on young adults.