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Pew report: Older audiences moving onto social networks

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Older Internet users are increasingly joining social networks
Older Internet users are increasingly joining social networks - (Thinkstock)

The common assumption is that a larger proportion of young adults use social media tools and social networking sites than older age groups.

According to a recent report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the stereotype still holds true: 89 percent of Internet users 18 to 29 years old are using social networks, while 78 percent of those 30 to 49 years old are doing the same.

Older Internet users, though, are not as active. The Pew study, however, showed that while the numbers are increasing across the board, older individuals are joining up at a faster rate than their younger counterparts.

In May 2010, only about 45 percent of those between 50 and 64 years old were using sites like Facebook. That number jumped to 60 percent by May 2013. Similarly, May 2010 saw about 25 percent of those 65 and older logging onto social networks, but that was at 43 percent by 2013.

The takeaway is clear: whatever your customer demographic or target market, savvy businesses will establish a social media presence and connect with their audience to maximize reach. The Pew data suggests businesses should start with Facebook, as the Twitter numbers are lower, and particularly so as respondents get older.

View or download the entire report below.

Digital content editor Joe Ross is @joeross on Twitter.

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