Baby Boomers Driving the Social World

After Facebook emerged on the scene, one of the biggest concerns from companies was that the social network and, for that matter, social media was dominated by young people.

Boy, have times changed.

According to a new Pew Internet survey, 65% of adult internet users (65%) are using social networks such as MySpace (really?), Facebook or LinkedIn. This compares with 61% a year ago, and 29% in 2008.

Even more impressive is Pew said that half of all adults (50%) use social networking sites, a 10-fold increase from 2005.

“The graying of social networking sites continues, but the oldest users are still far less likely to be making regular use of these tools,” said Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and co-author of the report. “While seniors are testing the waters, many Baby Boomers are beginning to make a trip to the social media pool part of their daily routine.”

So what does Pew’s survey means for companies looking to leverage social media?

For one, it means there is a large and growing pool of consumers with disposable income now using social media. Pew found that 68% of people who make more than $75,000 a year use social media.

This offers lots of opportunities for marketers looking to use social media as a way to engage and nurture relationships in a new and different way.

At the same time, marketers shouldn’t get overly focused on meeting the needs of older consumers. The Pew survey also reveals that 83% of 18-to-29-year-olds and 70% of 30-to-49-year-olds use social media.