Leisure marketing: Are your customers too old to use social media?

Use of social networking sites continues to grow among older Americans.

Some of my leisure marketing clients who target Baby Boomers are asking the same question these days:  Aren’t my customers too old to target using social media?

The Pew Research Institute just released a study that shows that in one year the answer to that question may have changed completely.

According to Pew:

  • Social networking among internet users 50+ has almost doubled (from 22% to 42%) in the past year.
  • Today, 1 in 2 internet users 50-64 and 1 in 4 online adults age 65 and older now use social media networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • In the past year,  internet users ages 50-64 who say they use social networks has grown by 88%, compared with a growth rate of 13% for Millennials.
  • Older adults still rely on email for their daily communications, with 92% of adults ages 50-64 and 89% of adults 65+sending or reading email.

The report speculates that older Americans are using social media more for three reasons:

  1. Because they are at an age when they want to connect to people from their past.
  2. Social sites allow older Americans with chronic illness to reach out for support.
  3. These sites allow grandparents to bridge the generational gap with their grandkids.

What are the implications of this new study for CMOs who are doing leisure marketing to Older Americans?

It means that many older Americans are on Facebook connecting with  their kids, grandchildren and long-lost friends and classmates.

As time goes on they will spend more time on social sites because they have more time to give to this growing pastime.

It also means that you should start to incorporate Baby Boomers and seniors into your social strategy.

  • Develop promotions on your Facebook page to attract more of this audience, like photo contests that involve uploading pics of their grandkids.
  • Create how-to video tutorials to help educate them on how to interact with your brand socially.
  • Invite them to share their experience with your product with younger customers through online forums.

Does this new research make you want to incorporate Baby Boomers into your social strategy? Let us know.

In the meantime, here’s a link to the full report.


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