A baby boomer’s guide to online social media

As publisher and co-founder of BoomerCafé, one of David Henderson’s jobs is to spread the word about the words we spread around. So he has become an ace (sort of) in the field of social media. And he’s decided, why not share? After all, as David points out, baby boomers are becoming more social media active!

While many baby boomers still resist or only cautiously approach online social media, trend research is showing a surge in boomers using such social media like Facebook and Twitter, even over the younger crowds.

One of the biggest misconceptions that marketing “geniuses” (actually, I have yet to meet one) have about marketing and advertising to boomers is that social media and online marketing and advertising only appeal to a narrow niche and a much younger crowd. Those days are over. While it is true that teenagers and young adults are often the first to adopt new technology and online platforms, boomers are never far behind.

Here’s a headline: Women over age 50 are the biggest users of Facebook.

Online social media can be a heck of a lot of fun, and you can learn stuff. You can connect with old friends, and you can keep up with current events faster than by depending on the traditional media, among other things. And, you can be online in a safe environment.

Here at BoomerCafe.com, we put significant emphasis on social media. It boosts publicity for our contributors … our readers can express their opinions about stories and engage in conversations with authors and other readers … and, it increases awareness for our website. Everyone wins!

At the top and bottom of each story on BoomerCafe.com is a selection of leading social media – Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and so on.

A question I get from friends and readers of the site is, which social media do I recommend? So, here goes. These are my suggestions, and these are all free:

social-media-poststampsFacebook – ever since I first logged on to Facebook back about 2006, I’ve built a vast community of friends, new and old. I’ve connected with colleagues from my days at CBS News, and I learn what the chef is preparing for tonight at my favorite local eating place. Facebook is safe. There are intelligent filters and controls to bar weirdos and those you’d rather avoid.

Twitter – it doesn’t matter how many “followers” you have, what matters is learning how to follow the cacophony of conversations about everything from affairs in the Middle East to fly-fishing. When breaking news happens, you can follow updates first at Twitter. Like Facebook, there are easy controls to block offensive people.

Google Plus– perhaps one of today’s most important players in social media. Similar to Facebook but increasingly influential online. Open a Google+ account, and you can build circles of friends, acquaintances, the public, and so on, to exchange information and learn. Social media “gurus” I know say that Google+ is fast becoming the most important social medium in the online environment.

LinkedIn – whether you are still working or retired, having your profile and photo on LinkedIn is an absolute must if you care to stay in touch with professional friends and colleagues.

David Henderson

David Henderson

Okay, those are the biggies. If you want to explore other interesting social media services -– all free -– check out Newsle.com (for news updates about people you know, from friend to famous individuals), Pinterest (for sharing photos), StumbleUpon (for sharing and following news features and great images), and Reddit. I admit that I don’t fully comprehend the value of Reddit but it’s quickly becoming popular for sharing updates on an infinite number of topics and online conversations.

Lastly, let me ask you to use those social media buttons on the stories of BoomerCafe.com. It helps us all, and we sincerely appreciate it. Thanks.


  1. Excellent post, as always. I totally agree with your assessment and I use the same sites…and like you, I’m not sure what’s the point of REDDIT or for that matter, TUMBLR…

    What I would like to add is that among the younger crowd (being a Boomer my son, a real techie, is 31) it would seem that Facebook is no longer what it used to be and certainly not a place where young people share what they consider as interesting updates. There is a sort of lull in which Google+ has stepped in, but again, techies and gurus don’t agree on how important it is…And whether it is going to be the next FB.

    The virtual world is a place where things change fast, who remembers MySpace anymore? YouTube is the big and upcoming thing, no question about that. I believe it’s ahead of Google+, in any case, it’s up there with FB, Twitter and Google+, I just don’t know the exact ranking. But people are moving more and more to video etc so YouTube is the place to be! Or so I’m told (beyond a book trailer that I’ve got there – I haven’t done a thing…But authors like the guy who wrote that immensely successful sci fi series WOOL is there all the time, filming himself opening his books to proof them etc etc Blogs are no longer in with the really, savvy techie crowd. Sigh! I’m only good at writing!

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