Pew Internet’s release, finding 60% of adults between the ages of 50 and 64 employing social networks, unites with its other major statistic – 43% of adults over 65 hitting the social media trail.
Reading the Tea Leaves
Previous Pew Internet reports displayed that the 50 + demographic had become more in touch with online tools – computers, tablets, cell phones – to utilize social media [Tablet Ownership 2013, June 10, 2013]
Lynn Strickland, Director of Social Media and Outreach for Interactivity Marketing, perceives a growing online market between older adults and Internet businesses.
“Social media is reaching out to older adults,” said Strickland. “Ads on Facebook can drill down to age groups based on their interests.” More seniors, especially with discretionary income, see the value of Facebook’s reviews and promotional discounts.
Seniors In an Age of Yelp
Strickland points to the popularity of review sites like Yelp.com, TripAdvisor.com and Foursquare – actually an app – as contributing to the online flow of older adults sporting smartphones and tablets.
Older adults trust social media because it connects real faces with real names. They can read authentic testimonials about products and services with less reliance on letter writing, phone calls, or personal visits to businesses.
Social Media – The New Employment Path for Older Adults
Networking is an effective way to find a job, especially with the growth of the long-term unemployed and a tight job market for older adults.
The average duration of unemployment for older workers is nearly 50 weeks, far above the 37-week average for the broader workforce, wrote the Huffington Post on April 17, 2013.
Author and Social Media Consultant, Don Power believes that social media offers a possible solution to 55+ unemployment. “It broadens their small circle of friends and introduces them to a new community.”
Twitter for Older Job Searchers
The recent Pew Internet research showed the 50 to 64 year old age bracket climbing from 6% to 13%, from November, 2010 to May 2013. Employment seekers could form a meaningful part of that statistic.
“Twitter provides an avenue to break out of Facebook’s customary loop and to meet new people,” said Power. “It’s Facebook pared-down.” With a 140 character maximum, it’s designed like a social network appealing to seniors’ natural congeniality.
The Twitter Employment Network
Through Twitter, older adults can find workers, owners, and managers of companies. They gravitate towards employment opportunities to find internal people. It’s non-solicitation, an informal introduction.
Employers get to know older adults and when opportunities arise, the familiarity has been established. Older adults create their personal brand awareness to match Twitter job boards.
Pew Internet has offered statistical confirmation for older adults and businesses to continue to reach out to each other through social media.