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Trends Q: How much does social media activity decrease as the age of guests increases?

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

We all know, or at least assume, that older guests are less likely to use social media than younger guests. In true mythbusters style, we wanted to, first, confirm or deny this suspicion. Second, we wanted to put numbers behind the claims and draw a more complete picture of how age impacts social media activity. What we found was pretty interesting, take a look.

The Goods
Now, your Facebook fan page already shows you how many of your fans fall into various age groups. Lest you see this analysis as a reproduction of that, let’s quickly point out the difference.

Facebook Insights look only at resort fans. We are looking at resort guests. In our clients’ surveys, among other queries, it was decided to ask “are you active on social media” instead of simply “are you on social media.”

So instead of analyzing your fans (that may or may not be active), we’re looking at your guests who are active on social media and could potentially be reached by any social post, not just your own. So, this is what we found:

The trend is just as we all expected: older guests are much less active on social media than younger guests. What’s interesting is the numbers behind the trend. Around 30% of 20-somethings are not active on social media while the same number, about 30% are active once you hit age 50. After 65, that percentage stays well below 25.

What This Means
The big takeaway is a simple one: social media simply doesn’t have a good chance of reaching older guests. On the flip side, social posts do have a greater chance of reaching younger customers. Remember, this is looking at social media’s reach as a whole, not just your fans.

It’s a simple lesson, but a critical one to remember as you plan, create, and execute social campaigns. If social media is the marketing medium, adjust your expectations as the target demographic gets older.

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