An important article came out today via eMarketer. Older Faceook Users Catching On to 'Liking' Brands states that as of April 2011, 43% of adults (ages 55 +) used the 'Like' button on Facebook. That's an increase from September 2010 when only 24% used the the Facebook 'Like' button to connect with brands--almost double. That's a pretty significant jump for only a 7 month span.
Why is this so important? For starters, it gives marketers the data needed to start creating messages on Facebook to reach streamline content to include this demographic. 66% of adults 18-34 an 62% of 35-54 already use Facebook to connect with brands, so this increase of adults 55+ allows companies to market and generate more revenue online.
Advertising online tends to be more cost effective than print. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can costs starts at $250 per month, increasing web visibility. Pay Per Click (PPC) can start as low as $59.99 per month for search ads. Social media costs vary. If you have someone in house managing your social media efforts, you only pay vendor costs and salary, but in general costs is pretty low. Hootsuite for instance is $5.99 per month. Print ads, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $125,000 per ad. Marketing online is definitely more affordable, which also translates into higher profit margins.
This increase in adults using the Facebook 'Like' button is the signal to companies, both B2B and B2C that they can broaden and spread their marketing budgets a little farther by reaching an audience that was a little slow to use the Internet to connect with brands.
So now the question is whether or not marketers should segment messages to cater to each adult age group. I would advise that it depends on your industry. If your industry is more technical, I would say you should keep things at a highly professional level. If you're retail, you can relax a little more with the content you post. Of course, you should always incorporate SEO in all your messages. But that's a blog post for another time.