Facebook may have made its name by first capturing the attention of college students, but according to a new study from Experian Hitwise, Google+ is proving popular with a more mature audience - parents.

Facebook may have made its name by first capturing the attention of college students, but according to a new study from Experian Hitwise, Google+ is proving popular with a more mature audience – parents.

Analyzing Google+ during its first six weeks of public availability, the study found that middle-aged parents, rather than their college-aged children, are the most prolific Google+ users. Though Google+ is still very much in its infancy, this could be a significant development for social marketing strategies.

More specifically, this could have huge potential for businesses that use Google+ as a content marketing tool. Given that middle-aged, suburban parents have more disposable income than college students, companies that successfully manage to capture the attention of the Google+ crowd could be better poised to generate new, more profitable business than those using other social networks. Google+ social content can be targeted accordingly.

This is not to say that Experian Hotwise's observations of Google+ are definitive. Though Google+ membership has already exceeded 25 million users, the social network is not yet available without an invitation. Furthermore, businesses and brands are still not permitted to create Google+ pages (though the features is expected to become available soon). This suggests that the marketing potential of Google+ has yet to be determined.

However, as Brafton recently reported, a new study from Retrevo found the social habits of parents are starting to reflect those of their children. As this continues to develop, businesses may be more inclined to target these increasingly tech-savvy parents, who could prove to be a more lucrative demographic than strapped-for-cash college students.