Today, more people than ever before are using social media, and as a marketer, it’s great to see new markets adopting the medium. Not only does this surge in adoption allow new industries to use social media effectively, but it also lets companies currently using it target new customers.

Currently, one of the fastest growing demographics among social networks are senior citizens. Grossly overlooked on social media, this age group is searching on Google, browsing Facebook News Feeds, and watching YouTube. Looking at Facebook alone, 11 percent of its 1.15 billion members are seniors, and one in five will log on for an hour any given day.

Although the majority of seniors are going social to connect with family and friends (40 percent), 20 percent log on for social gaming and 10 percent are looking for contests and games. This age group has 47 times the net worth of households headed by those 35 and older — making them a demographic you don’t want to ignore.

Of course, it all depends on your product or service. Some brands won’t find value in targeting the senior demographic, but others — such as lifestyle brands, clothing retailers, and health-related services — could find success. Merrill Gardens and the AARP are two great examples of successful brands targeting seniors.

The following infographic, created by Wishpond, shows how seniors are using social media and why it’s important to take their growing presence into account when creating your social media strategy. You’ll also find examples of how the brands mentioned above are using the medium to reach their target audience.

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[Via: AllTwitter, Image credit: Jody Morris]