“We all know that young consumers, both in Europe and the US, have adopted social media avidly. But what about their parents’ generation – the Baby Boomers (those aged 43 to 63)? How are they using social media? Well, I’ve just finished a piece that looks at the Baby Boomer generation in Europe and their social media activity, and found that this audience are also starting to integrate social media into their daily lives.

For example, more than one-third of European online consumers ages 43 to 63 already read social media such as blogs and forums on a regular basis, and around one-tenth are already uploading their own content — such as videos and music — onto the Web. Overall, 47% of Younger Boomers (online adults ages 43 to 52) now engage with social media on a regular basis, and 41% of Older Boomers (those ages 53 to 63) do. Boomers in the different European countries exhibit different behaviors, just as their younger compatriots do – for example, 69% of Dutch 43- to 52-year-olds (and 60% of 53- 63-year-olds) use social media on a regular basis, whilst only around a third of German Boomers do.

What does this mean for you? Well, many marketers targeting this audience, especially those who see themselves as market-leading, should be looking at using social media techniques to do so — for example, Vogelberscherming Nederland, the site for the Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds, hosts a number of blogs and encourages supporters to respond to posts with easy-to-use technology.

Figure 2

The full report can be read by subscribers on our website here. If you’re interested in how your particular online target audience has adopted social media in Europe,

let me know at rjennings@forrester.co.uk and I’ll let you know how we can help. Some of our Technographics data on adoption is also available on the GroundsWell blog here for your interest too – we have data from the US, Europe and Asia Pacific. And if you have any examples of marketers targeting Boomers, please drop me a line! “