Sure, to the younger users who poke fun at their grandparents (and parents, in some cases) for their often confusing interactions and general lack of understanding, it may seem like Facebook is no country for old (wo)men. As Facebook continues to add additional layers of features to the site like Timeline and Open Graph apps, one wonders how a population who are notorious for struggling with new technology will be able to keep up.
But according to data from Forrester, brands should start targeting seniors in their social media strategies and the younger generations need to begin to accept the fact that Nana and Papa are going to use the site if they like it or not. Privacy settings are there for a reason, kids.
According to a study on Digital Seniors, 60% of U.S. citizens aged 65 and older are online. That means that around 20 million seniors are now denizens of the interwebs. And half of those seniors are on Facebook.
As you can see, email is another popular internet activity of the United States’ seniors. Interestingly enough, gaming is another one – although it’s unclear exactly what kinds of online games are getting their attention. One can assume that at least a small proportion of that 44% are into Facebook-oriented games like FarmVille.
Another interesting find from the study centers reinforces the idea that brands that target Facebook users might need to put a little more emphasis on their older targets. Not only do those aged 65+ have more money to spend than younger kids, but they reported a higher brand loyalty than the general U.S. audience. 63% said that they stick with a brand when they like it, compared to only 53% of all online adults.
With all the talk about Facebook contemplating opening itself up to kids under the age of 13 and how that could impact advertising dollars, let us not forget that folks on the other side of the coin also command some serious attention.