Senior citizens, or people over the age of 65, are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook. And it is not surprising when you consider the fact that they are more digitally literate, living longer lives and are more active in general.
Why is this interesting for online marketers? Well, first this demographic has a net worth that is 47 times greater than homes that are led by the 35+ age group. Secondly, the 74+ demographic is the fastest growing group of users on social media. There are approximately 39 million people aged 65 and over using social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Skype.
The senior group may not have email access but it is still dominant on Facebook news feeds, carrying out lots of Google searches and accessing YouTube videos. Some of them are even doing this on iPads.
Let’s have a look at some case studies where social media marketing techniques are used to encourage seniors to participate more actively online, and what we can learn from them.
Workshops And Classes To Encourage Social Media Literacy
Currently there are a range of courses and classes on offer that are designed to train seniors to use online sites and social media networking channels. The stats also tell us that 20% of seniors in training will log onto their social media channel of choice for at least an hour a day. Another report discovered that 13% of adults over the age of 50 are using Twitter, a figure that is expected to rise.
-How To Incorporate This
Develop courses or classes designed specifically for seniors. You should make it clear that your offering has been created for this demographic as many people in this age group may not be interested in learning new skills with younger people.
Build Connections With Real People
Reports tell us that seniors are tapping into social media networks for the same reason as other age groups: to connect with other people. Reports from All Assisted Living Homes revealed that 40% of users want to connect with friends and family, while 30% want to share photos. 20% are interested in social gaming platforms and 10% are online to enter contests and games.
Twitter’s popularity comes from the fact that users have quick and easy access to resources and information.
How To Incorporate This
Are your Facebook and Twitter pages senior-friendly? If your product or service should be marketed to this demographic ask yourself whether it is worthwhile creating separate pages to cater to this audience. Remember that marketing effectiveness only comes about when your messages are specifically and accurately targeted at your buyer demographic. You are likely to need different content to appeal to different audiences.
Social Media and Assisted Living Homes
Assisted living homes are using social media to stay connected to residents and their families. These companies are using social media to generate leads from senior’s children and grand children, who are researching the net to find residences for their parents.
How To Incorporate This
Assisted living homes can use social media networking to share updates and pictures of community events. Children of residents can also receive regular updates and news from the homes, no matter how far away they may be.
Pinterest boards can also be set up to share inspiration and create advice for seniors who are active with hobbies and interests.
Other ideas on content to share, include lifestyle tips on how to stay healthy and topics of interest to a senior community. Connect directly to the needs of your demographic and provide content that meets them.
Brands That Want To Speak Directly To A Senior Demographic
Unlike younger target markets, this demographic is less interested in promotions and more interested in stories and images. If you haven’t developed the story behind your brand yet, this demographic can make it worthwhile.
Listen to your online audience so you can cater your content accordingly. Engage with people and understand you are committed to a schedule of regular use if you want to be successful. If you need some more incentive, remember this fact: for the next 20 years it is estimated that 10 000 baby boomers will join the social media landscape every single day.
Answer Questions For Engagement
Seniors rely on social media to have their questions answered. Use your channels to educate and advise them on issues that matter to them. Answer questions in a timely manner; remember that your reader might not have a day job to get back to. He or she is probably sitting waiting for a response. Take advantage of this insight being readily available online for information.
Deliver Business Insight And Advice
It would be inaccurate to believe that all seniors who are online are retired. The fact is that a lot of them are actually still running their own businesses and looking for insights into how they can use technology to make their business ventures more efficient.
Consider workshops, tutorials and services designed to help seniors run their companies using the Internet and various social media channels. You will probably need to incorporate some degree of flexibility, so your approach should be structured so that it could help any business in any industry.
If you want to build a business geared specifically for seniors consider what areas would be most applicable. Here are some questions to help you get started:
- Does your senior network travel often?
- What types of foods does your network enjoy?
- Is your target market predominantly male or female?
- Does the target market exercise or work out?
- What hobbies or past times do your seniors get involved in?
- What geographical area would you like to focus on?
- In what ways can you provide expert guidance or advice?
- Which social media channel do you think you could target your audience most specifically through?
When are you are working on your plan, make sure you can answer questions like these. If you can’t you won’t be able to connect with your audience. And engagement is what will pull seniors towards you.