Older people flocking to Facebook- research

The latest data from Nielsen revealing that increasing numbers of older people are joining Facebook in the US, with a significant growth in the over 60s age group, is a pattern which UK marketeers need to prepare for, according to search agency, WebCertain.

The change in demographics was discussed at WebCertain's International Social Media Summit in London last week (14 May) when Alex Burmaster, Communications Director EMEA for Nielsen Online, revealed that the social networking and blogging audience has become more diverse in terms of age.

The shift has primarily been driven by Facebook whose greatest growth during 2008 came from the 35-49 year old age group (+11.3m)*; and also added a significant number of 50-64 year old users (+8.3m) compared with under 18 year old visitors (+1.7m).

"The UK and European market usually follows the US, so big brands need to start thinking now about how they can optimise these new audience demographics and start building appropriate applications," explains Andy Atkins-Krüger, Managing Director of leading UK multilingual search agency, WebCertain. "With more than two thirds of the global online population now visiting social networks and blogs, there are some significant new opportunities for brand building, but marketeers need to move fast and stay ahead of the latest trends if they are going to make the most of them."

The Summit provided an opportunity for online marketers to gain an insight into the latest developments from some of the leading authorities on social media from around the world. Speakers included Nicole Vanderbilt, VP International at Bebo, who looked at the international marketing opportunity for social networks.

Regina Bustamante, director of globalisation for Plaxo, discussing 'Community Translation in Social Networking' and explaining some of the techniques being used by the social network to increase its international profile.

Topics included the growth of Twitter and its marketing applications; as well as blogger Martin Belam of guardian.co.uk looking at how major publishers are using social media to drive traffic; and Vasco Sommer-Nunes of Mokono discussing ways of monetising blogging.

In addition, Massimo Burgio of Global Search Interactive/SEMPO, presented 'Social Media Marketing'; Tom Smith of Trendstream discussed global social media trends; and Anne Kennedy of Beyond Ink gave an update about whether Facebook is a global player.

The International Social Media Summit is the fourth summit held by WebCertain which hosts events focusing on international and multilingual search marketing. Their purpose is to address the complex issues that face online marketers when dealing with content that crosses multiple countries, cultures and languages.

WebCertain is a dedicated multilingual search marketing agency offering the full range of search services in all the major web languages, including pay-per-click campaigns, organic SEO, online PR and web development.

Source: www.webcertain.com

*Source: Nielsen Online, Netview, Home & Work including applications, December 2007-December 2008

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