The Best Social Media Sites for Brands Targeting Boomers

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By Dimitry Karloff

The baby boomer generation refers to the large demographic cohort of individuals born between 1946 and 1964, during the post-World War II baby boom. This generation makes up a significant portion of the population in many Western countries. For example, in the United States, baby boomers number over 70 million individuals.

As the baby boomer generation has aged, many of them have adopted various forms of social media into their daily lives. However, their usage and preferred platforms differ from their younger Gen X or millennial counterparts. As such, brands need to understand how boomers engage on social media in order to effectively target them with marketing campaigns and messaging.

Facebook Dominates Among Boomer Users

Far and away, Facebook remains the most popular social media site for baby boomers. Over half of all boomers in the US have an active Facebook account. The platform allows them to reconnect with old friends, stay up-to-date on current events and news, join special interest groups, and more. 

Importantly, boomers tend to use Facebook differently than younger audiences. Boomers comment and post updates less frequently. However, they are more likely to share news articles, political content, humor posts, and meaningful quotes. Brands should focus on driving engagement through shareable content rather than trying to spark conversations on Facebook.

YouTube Offers Branding Potential

YouTube comes in second among boomers for social media activity, with around 45% of US baby boomers reporting having a YouTube account. Boomers appreciate YouTube for its entertainment, news, how-to content, and more.

Brands targeting boomers can create YouTube channels featuring video content made specifically for boomer audiences. Useful DIY, product demo, interview, and informational content performs especially well. Integrating these videos into other social posts and ads helps expand impact.

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Pinterest Appeals to Boomer Sensibilities

Over a third of boomer internet users in the US are now on Pinterest—a percentage that continues rising year over year. Visually-focused Pinterest allows boomers to save and organize content that appeals to their tastes and interests all in one place. The most popular category boards among boomers relate to travel destinations, recipes, arts & crafts, and gardening.

For brands, promoting visually striking and practical pins related to your products makes sense. Contest and giveaway pins also help increase engagement amongst boomer audiences. Just make sure the requirements for entry are simple rather than relying on user-generated content or sharing.

X Sees Reasonable Use Among Boomers

Despite slower initial adoption rates compared to other platforms, over one-quarter of boomers today have active Twitter, now known as X, accounts. X has become a key destination for gathering and discussing news content—an activity that appeals to many within the boomer demographic. 

Brands can heighten visibility with boomer markets on X through relevant newsjacking, thoughtful commentary on current events, interacting with influential users, strategic hashtag promotion, and candid behind-the-scenes access. Just be aware that boomers use X more for consuming information than for ingroup socializing.

Other Platforms Offer Upside for Early Movers

In addition to the largest social sites, brands should keep an eye on other platforms where boomer usage shows potential for future growth.

For example, about 12% of US boomer internet users now report activity on Instagram. While adoption lags behind Gen Xers and millennials for now, that percentage has been steadily rising year-over-year as boomers explore the popular photo and video sharing app. 

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Getting in early with a strong brand presence on Instagram can help businesses looking to expand their boomer customer base over time. That first-mover advantage means quickly claiming desired usernames, establishing foundational content, and joining relevant conversations.

Although Snapchat, TikTok and Reddit dominate among younger audiences like millennials and Gen Z, adoption of these platforms among boomers continues to slowly grow over time too.

  • Snapchat — Roughly 6% of internet users aged 50-64 now report using Snapchat. Boomers appreciate connecting with friends and family through temporary photos, videos, and messages. Brands can reach this audience with geofilters and local lens campaigns. However, Snapchat still remains a niche platform among the boomer demographic compared to leading sites.
  • TikTok — As of 2022, about 16% of US boomer internet users say they have used TikTok. Short-form viral videos appeal to boomers looking for humor, entertainment, and killing time. Brands can target boomer consumers on TikTok with lighthearted content and nostalgic trends. But other platforms still take priority in terms of marketing budget and resource allocation.
  • Reddit — A similar share of boomers (15%) are now Reddit users. This platform allows them to follow topics of personal interest, join like-minded communities, and discuss news events. Brands can engage boomers on Reddit by sponsoring relevant subreddits, participating authentically in conversations, and providing value.

While adoption lags behind other generations, boomer usage on these platforms may provide additional branding and engagement opportunities.

Nextdoor Also Appeals for Local Targeting

While less discussed, brands focused on local targeting may also find opportunities through the Nextdoor app. About 16% of US internet users aged 50-64 are already active members on the hyperlocal social platform. Here residents discuss community issues, local events, classified listings, recommendations, and more.

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For service area businesses, establishing a trusted company profile on Nextdoor allows you to regularly share updates, run special offers, directly assist neighborhood residents, crowdsource localized insights, and reinforce community commitment. 

Key Takeaways for Brands Looking to Target Boomers

The baby boomer generation remains a prime target market for brands across categories looking to drive sales, grow market share, boost profits, and future-proof their customer base. The above social media platforms should serve as starting points for developing a social strategy focused on boomer consumers.

Remember to emphasize informative, newsworthy, and practical content on Facebook and YouTube. Visually showcase useful ideas on Pinterest. Monitor X for breaking trends and commentary. And consider piloting sites like Instagram and Nextdoor to build a stronger brand.

With some strategic planning and execution, brands can leverage social media to effectively engage boomer audiences and influencers in 2024 and beyond. Align platforms, content style and topics, product showcasing, and messaging to their preferences for optimal response and ROI. Track performance diligently and double down on what works while phasing out less effective initiatives.