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How to Engage Baby Boomers Using Social Media (Part 4)

How to Engage Baby Boomers Using Social Media (Part 4) image Baby BoomersBaby boomers are generally ignored when it comes to social media marketing, but statistics show this generation is a promising demographic that requires its own unique marketing strategy.  There are over 77 million baby boomers in the United States. Contrary to the misconception that baby boomers haven’t really adapted to the digital age, around 74% use social media for buying decisions, according to Unity Marketing.

And if that statistic is not convincing enough, it might interest you to know that baby boomers contribute to 80% of all leisure travels and make up 50% of consumer spending. Following are some of the ways you can engage baby boomers using social media:

Connect

Age, experience and environment play a pivotal role in defining our thought process and purchasing habits.  In order to connect with baby boomers you will need to speak in a language that they identify and relate to. Following are a few things you should keep in mind when posting or sharing links targeting baby boomers:

  • Post items that promote functionality, well being and health.
  • Post content that encourages skill development and knowledge.
  • Post content that motivates behavior for organizational, social and spiritual connection.
  • Always post content that is relevant, to the point, authentic and simple.

Keep it Simple

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As much as you’d like to offer a procedure where an individual needs to follow a link, fill out a survey and then get a 5% discount on their third purchase, the chances of it being a success are bleak, particularly in the case of baby boomers.  Be sure to keep the posts and procedures simple and easy to follow.   Remove unnecessary steps in a procedure so the process can be completed in just a few minutes.    Unlike millennials, baby boomers don’t spend nearly as much time playing with the latest tech tools.  What would seem simple to an 18 year-old could be considered a daunting task for a 60 year-old.

Deliver a Great Customer Experience

Social media is great tool to use to connect with your audience.  Avoid using techie language to address baby boomers.  Ask them for suggestions to help you determine the best way to present information.  Baby boomers are more likely to form loyal connections with a brand if they feel their input is appreciated and respected. If you provide excellent customer service, this will almost always make up for a flawed product or service.

Stick to the Big Guys

It has taken time for baby boomers to get used to the internet – and particularly social networking sites. Most baby boomers are use Facebook and Twitter. If you’re developing a social media strategy targeting baby boomers, your strategy should focus primarily on those two social networking websites. Even though most baby boomers spend their time on Facebook and Twitter, it does not mean that you can’t utilize Instagram or Pinterest.  Just keep in mind that any cross-promoting you do should adhere to the “simple is better’ philosophy.  If you post links to other social networks on your Twitter or Facebook page, click on those links to make sure your baby boomer audience won’t have trouble with navigation.

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Did you miss the rest of this series?

How to Excite, Not Alienate, Female Consumers Using Social Media (Part 1)

How to Engage African Americans Consumers Using Social Media (Part 2)

How to Engage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Consumers Using Social Media (Part 3)

Comments on this Article: 2

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  1. Here’s a great article published on TechCrunch:

    Don’t Tell The Kids: U.K. Social Networking Growth Strongest Among Middle-Age & Senior Internet Users, Says Ofcom:
    http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/23/ofcom-2012-social-networking-usage-data/

  2. Erin Read says:

    You write “Contrary to the misconception that baby boomers haven’t really adapted to the digital age, around 74% use social media for buying decisions.” At best that stat would be 74% of Internet-using baby boomers, which is definitely not 77 million. Per Pew, 52% of those aged 50-64 are using social networks.

    Further, when it comes to influencing those travel and online purchases social is not as important to baby boomers as are traditional media (television and newspapers).

    I’m not pooh-poohing the potential of this group when it comes to social. On the contrary, my agency has seen growing success in programs we’ve implemented for 50+ housing and travel clients. And our own proprietary research (http://creatingresults.com/SocialSilverSurfers) backs up your solid advice for how to connect with those boomers engaged in social channels.

    I just don’t want people to get the wrong impression about the size of this social marketing segment.

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