Marketing to the silver surfer
(Guardian Web Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Are baby boomers and beyond an untapped demographic for social media marketers? Six in every ten 50-64 year-olds use social media – that's a tenfold increase in eight years. And whereas almost no pensioners used it then, 43% do now.
Given that boomers and the elderly have the highest net value in the UK, shouldn't we be targeting them with our social media campaigns? Research suggests that they are often reconnecting with others. Older people often have a network of friends that they have built up over their lives, many of whom will be far away. Children may have moved away, and social media is a good way for older people to keep in touch.
Yet, a dearth of online campaigns shows that relatively few organisations are targeting this potentially lucrative demographic through social campaigns.
There are a few out there. Merrill Gardens, which provides assisted living homes to the elderly, takes a two-pronged approach to marketing. It uses Facebook, among other sites, as marketing tools for both seniors and their adult children, who will be researching care homes online. But it also markets directly to seniors alone using several community boards that it has created at Pinterest. One of the most touching is 'Love at Merrill Gardens', where seniors can post memories of their loved ones.
But beyond moving to assisted living facilities and using home care systems, boomers and the elderly are engaged in many different online activities. Shopping, research, and banking are all popular pursuits for this age bracket, and retirees have more time to pursue a wide variety of interests. Experts say that the older demographic is also particularly interested in referrals from friends as an age group, rather than being driven by image-based advertising. Think the older demographic is not switched on to social media? Think again.
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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