Yesterday we explained the ins and outs of Pinterest, the newest and shiniest kid on the social block. The explosive growth of this platform has the online world buzzing about with excitement – or skepticism. Is it really the next big thing? And more importantly for marketers to matures, is it the next big thing for older consumers? We feel for certain generations it could be: Gen X and Baby Boomers, but not Silent Generation seniors.
Who Uses Pinterest: Stats by age and gender
April 2012 data from Google Ad Planner shows that Pinterest’s user-base is 79% women and more than HALF of users are age 35-54. Only 11% are age 55+, and seniors make up a mere 3%.
This means that female baby boomers are using this platform (along with Gen Xers). For Boomers, we believe that it has a little something to do with nostalgia.
Why Pinterest Appeals to Baby Boomers
Pinterest is all about “pinning” images that interest you or that you find inspirational to a virtual corkboard. This concept resonates with Boomers because they are from an era when you actually clipped inspiring recipes and images from magazines and physically pinned them onto a real corkboard for inspiration. Another reason we think Boomers are responding well to this platform is because of its visual nature. (As we grow older, our brains shift to images over words.) Boomer-favored categories like Home, Arts & Crafts and Food made the Top 5 Pinboard categories.
Pinterest is not intimidating. It is easy to use. Gen Xers are generally early adopters of new social media and technology platforms, so it’s no surprise that they are embracing Pinterest, but our crystal ball is telling us boomer usage also will steadily increase.
Why Pinterest Doesn’t Appeal to Seniors
Will 65+ seniors start a pinning spree? Maybe it will catch on in the long run, but for now we think it’s a no for seniors.
Only 26% of people over 65 who are online are using social networking sites to begin with. Our research shows that, in general, seniors are uncomfortable with the overexposure aspect of social media. (As one Social, Silver Surfers survey respondent put it, “I don’t like the whole notion of millions of people oversharing private or trivial info with millions of others.” Things like food, clothing and recent purchases.)
Until more seniors become comfortable with social media platforms overall and Pinterest can prove its value as a tool, not entertainment, seniors will continue to be a small portion of Pinterest users.
What This Means for Mature Marketing Pros
Does this growth of Pinterest and early interest from Baby Boomers mean that if your business targets 50+ consumers you are missing out on a goldmine? We tell our clients: probably not. Be aware of the platform but focus your energies on networks where boomers and seniors are focusing their energy.
Tune in tomorrow for insights into who what type of 50+-oriented brands are “right” for Pinterest and considerations for implementing Pinterest for your business.
Do you agree or disagree with our analysis of 50+ consumers and Pinterest? Share your thoughts below.