Baby Boomers, or people who were born between the years of 1946-1964, make up roughly 25% of the US population and are known to be our nation’s greatest consumers. In 2012, it was estimated that there were a total of 76.4 million Baby Boomers living in the United States. Unfortunately, Baby Boomers are incorrectly considered to be technologically inept, and there seems to be a disconnect with modern businesses and this age group when it comes to social media marketing. As with any targeted age group, the key is understanding the interests and generational differences of Baby Boomers in order to best appeal to them.
Baby Boomers & Social Media Usage
The PEW Research Center has conducted several studies on the demographics of social media users. The research center found that 64% of people in the 50-64 year age range use Facebook, as well as an additional 48% of people over 64 years of age; That adds up to over one-hundred-million people over the age of 60 who use Facebook. This statistic is made even more impressive when you consider the fact that only 15% more of the younger Generation X population are a member of the same social media site. However, this relatively small gap may be quickly closing. It may be surprising for some to learn that 55-64-year-olds are the fastest growing age group on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Cater to a Baby Boomer Crowd
In order for your social media campaigns to be successful, you need to keep your audience and their interests in mind. Make sure the images, articles, and information you post is targeted towards, and relatable to Baby Boomers. If you simply acknowledge their presence on social media and cater your content to them, you’ll already be worlds above your competition when it comes to reaching out to the 50 & over the crowd.
Regardless of age, it also helps to engage with your followers. One way to do this is by giving them the opportunity to ask you questions so you can provide them with your personalized insight. Make sure you are prompt and thorough in your responses.
Ageism Is a Nasty Habit (And it Can Lose You, Potential Clients)
The easiest way to lose the business of Baby Boomers is to refer to them as “old”, “elderly”, “senior citizens”, or any other word or phrase which may remind them of the number of years they’ve lived. They were, after all, pretty hip in their day. And just because they’ve hit fifty, it doesn’t mean they’re ready to resign to being “old fogies” just yet. When it comes to matters of potential ageism, remember the Golden Rule; When you are over fifty, would you enjoy being called words that are associated with “decrepit”? Probably not. Plus, studies show people are more likely to use your product or service if they feel good about themselves; Feeling “old” doesn’t feel good- don’t harsh a Baby Boomer’s mellow, man. If you are specifically referring to the Baby Boomer group, simply call them Baby Boomers!
Educate & Inform
Baby Boomers appreciate informative content which can be provided in numerous forms. Videos, blog posts, articles, photos, infographics, and emails are all great ways to draw in the fifty-or-older crowd. Pay attention to the type of content which best strikes their interest and provide them with all the facts you can gather on those topics. The more informed Baby Boomers are on what you are offering, the more likely they are to use your product or service.
Give Baby Boomers the Ability to Speak to a Human
Make sure all of your contact information is easily accessible from your webpage and social media accounts. While you will, of course, want to make sure to let people know your URL, twitter handle and the like, make sure to not leave out your business’s telephone number, and address, when applicable. While Baby Boomers are almost equally connected to social media as the younger generations, some do still find elements of ultra-modern communication to be a bit confusing or intimidating. Sometimes, it is much more preferable for them to make a phone call or visit your place of business and speak to an actual human being. If you do not make this information easily accessible, you may end up losing a large portion of potential business from Baby Boomers.
Thank Them For Their Business & Ask Them Back
It is important to follow up with any and all potential clients, regardless of what generation they fall under. But this is especially important with Baby Boomers who grew up in a time that put an especially strong emphasis on manners. Following-up with clients, thanking them for their business and letting them know you’d love to have them back (even offering them discounts and specials), is not only courteous but will most definitely improve your business. Studies have shown that most clients will not return if they do not receive at least one follow-up communication. A great way to keep clients (or potential ones) in the loop, and keep them coming back, is to send out regular email newsletters. This will make sure your business remains at the forefront of their mind. You should also make an effort to be as helpful as you can (again, offering advice in your field via social media is a great strategy for this). If you prove to be a knowledgable, helpful member of the community even when you are not being paid, people will be much more eager to pay for your services!
“Old School” Advertising
Whether you want to grab the attention of Baby Boomers who are not on social media or keep the attention of those who are, you should branch out from online communication and advertisements. Pamphlets, brochures, and newspaper ads are still all great ways to spread awareness about your business or service, especially if you’re trying to gain the business of people 50 or older. Consider mailing out information to areas where there is a higher population of Baby Boomers; This will help attain the business of those who are not on social media. Depending on the product or service you are offering, you may even want to conduct a seminar in order to inform the public and respond to any concerns, or answer any questions they might have.