Celent Says

Debunking Myths: What Are Seniors Doing Online?

Mike Fitzgerald
Insurance Experts' Forum, April 20, 2011

It's widely agreed that baby boomers and seniors are increasing their online presence. On multiple occasions, I have heard this observation made, followed by a statement to the effect that “they want to keep up with their families and post pictures of their grandchildren”.  

However, data from Pew Research actually shows that these groups are participating in a much broader set of activities.  

Research shows that boomers are at least as active as younger groups when it comes to non-trivial tasks, such as getting financial information and buying products. The 45 to 64 age group is even more active than others when it comes to rating a product, service or person.

The Pew Research data also shows that, in the past two years, participation in social networking sites has increased the most in the boomer groups (by more than 30%).  

Companies seeking to increase their online channel and/or build advocates and fans using social media need to target older, as well as, younger age groups.

This blog has been reprinted with permission from Celent.

Mike Fitzgerald is a senior analyst in Celent's insurance practice, and can be reached at mfitzgerald@celent.com.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Mike using the “Add Your Comments” box below.

The opinions posted in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News or SourceMedia. 

Comments (2)

Katie,
The report can be found at http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2010/PIP_Generations_and_Tech10.pdf

All the best,

Mike

Posted by: Mike F | April 22, 2011 7:32 PM

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Mike, Thank you for calling this out - I have heard this assumption made many times - and even asserted the theory myself - that many people of grandparent age are on social networks only to see photos of their grandchildren. I am so glad to see research supporting a broader range of activities identified among this demographic. Could you name the specific study from Pew that contains this data? Thank you!

Posted by: Katie H | April 22, 2011 11:31 AM

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