The connection is growing

Earlier this month, iStrategyReports released a new, in-depth study of Facebook demographics and statistics that revealed, among other things, that Facebook’s  35-54 year old demographic is roughly doubling every two weeks.

 

But it doesn’t stop there. The make up of Facebook users is shifting towards parents and professionals young and old. From iStrategyReport’s summary of their research.

1)  The 35-54 year old demo is growing fastest, with a 276.4% growth rate in over the approximate 6 months since we last produced this report

2) The 55+ demo is not far behind with a 194.3% growth rate

3) The 25-34 year population on Facebook is doubling every 6 months

7) The largest demographic concentration remains the college crowd of 18-24 year olds (40.8%) which is down from (53.8%) six months ago.

In the big picture, #7 might be the most important observation. There are now more people on Facebook in the 25-55+ category than there are in the 18-24 category. And the trend is accelerating decidedly in that direction. In real numbers, there are 19,198,580 people over the age of 24 on Facebook and growing rapidly.

 

Add that to the findings in a new report by the Pew Research Center that 35% of adult Internet users have a profile on at least one social networking site, and the empirical evidence is more compelling than ever that schools must find ways to tap into that space for making and cultivating relationships.

 

The take home messages for me:

 

* For development and advancement: A very significant target demographic for fund raising is flocking to Facebook. They are showing an interest and willingness to maintain and/or establish relationships using social media. If you can engage your alumni and other donor bases using Facebook and other social networking sites you have one more way to strengthen their connection to the school. And importantly, you are taking your message to where they are already going.

 

* For admissions: there are nearly 6 million kids 17 and younger on Facebook, growing at a 30% clip. That makes a presence well worth it… but equally compelling is that their parents are getting on Facebook.

 

What do these reports say to you?

 

Follow Steve on Twitter @steveritchie and at his Proof blog.

Steve Ritchie

Steve Ritchie

Co-founder at edSocialMedia | The Proof Group

Steve is a co-founder of edSocialMedia and of The Proof Group. He is a former independent school teacher, coach and dorm parent who loves that his jobs keep him in the middle of the school world.

  • http://www.admissionsquest.com Peter Baron

    Agree with your take, especially when it comes to development (I actually used this same report in a social media workshop I led yesterday), but I have a slightly different read on the 0-17 numbers…

    I’m not certain that admission officers should focus on facebook since Myspace represents the social network of choice for most teens. Take this example… an admission director told me about a talk he gave to a group of 8th & 9th graders. When he asked how many use social networks, virtually everyone in the room raised their hands. Just a few hands popped up when he asked how many use facebook. Myspace? Every hand in the room sprung up when he lobbed this question to the group. This seems inline with the low numbers reported in iStrategy’s report.

    So a question to consider is how can admissions successfully engage in myspace from a recruitment standpoint? I’d love to hear what folks think.

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