Older Adults and Social Media Marketing

Why is this target group of consumers becoming crucial for marketers...

27 Dec 2018 7299 Views

Written by Slav Slavov

Older Adults and social media marketing can co-exist

Figure 1. Older Adults and social media marketing can co-exist (Source: Adweek, 2017)

Once Upon A Time, There Was A Stereotype About Older Adults…

Let’s admit it! In the past, we have all had a laugh imagining our grandparents in front of a computer asking us questions such as: “Where is this mouse you were talking about?” or “Do they deliver e-mails on Sunday?”. The truth is that there was always this stereotype of older adults being afraid of the digital world, or simply being stubborn of not putting any kind of effort in learning how to use Internet. Please, allow me to precise that by older adults I mean baby boomers (born between 1964 and 1946) and their precedent generations.

However, it is time for us to look more seriously at the current trends and realize that things have changed and this demographic group is currently using social media. This brings up some important questions that you should ask yourself when planning your digital marketing strategy:

  • Are we considering older adults for our social media campaign?
  • If not, why should we start considering older adults as being important for this marketing channel?
  • How are we supposed to attract older adults to our social media platform?

But before helping you answer these questions, let’s go back in time for a moment.

Web 2>Web 2.0 And Social Media – Game Changers For Everyone But…

rrival of web 2.0, the world of marketing has changed completely. The shift of attention from the firm towards the consumer has made everyone restructure their business plans. With all technological innovations facilitating the creation of content, interaction and interoperability, users have become the center of attention (Berthon et al. 2012). Few years later, the introduction of Social Media brought consumers to pedestal by giving them the unique opportunity of creating communities and networks, as well as generating user content such as text, pictures and videos (Berthon et al 2012). As expected, the millennials were the fastest age group to integrate Social Media into their lifestyle. However, the same thing could not be said for the older adults who had less than 10% of social media penetration rate up until 2010 (Pew Research Center, 2015).

Elderly people becoming more and more active on social media

Figure 2 Elderly people becoming more and more active on social media (Source: Pew Research center, 2015)

2010 was the year when the elderly people became more active online and obtained some technical skills. An example of that was the steep increase in social network usage by 74+ years old adults: from being only 4% in 2008 up to 16% in 2010 (Zickuhr, 2010).

Older Adu>Older Adults, Internet And Social Media Today

nt_7149" class="wp-caption aligncenter">Older adults are finally going viral for social media

Figure 3. Older adults are finally going viral for social media (Source: WestInfo, 2017)