A November report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that older adults are a still-growing population of social media users, a finding with important implications for marketing and communication in the aging services industry. In the last seven of the Pew Research Center’s nationally representative Internet and American Life Project surveys, the percent of respondents aged 65 and better who use social media is increasing, from one percent in August 2006, to 13 percent in April 2009, up to 26 percent in May 2010, and, most recently, 38 percent in August of 2012.
Adults between 50 and 64, an important and increasingly receptive target audience for long-term care education, have seen similar rapid growth: 24 percent of this cohort used online social media in April 2009, which has since increased to 57 percent.
The report also includes information on smartphone use. Adults between age 50 and 64 are less likely than those under 50 to use a cell phone to access SMS (18 percent, as opposed to 67 percent of those age 18 to 29, and half of those between 20 and 49), and those over 64 are less likely still (5 percent; all differences statistically significant).
The report can be freely accessed on the website of the Pew Internet & American Life Project.