When marketing to customers on social media, who are you expecting to reach? For many marketers, the expected social media user is someone in their 20s or early 30s who is never far from their smartphone or mobile device.
But focusing your social media marketing efforts solely on Millennials means that you are potentially ignoring a vast swath of your customer base. While the stereotype of Baby Boomers (people born just after World War II through about 1965) might be that they’re unsure or scared of technology, the reality is that many of them are more tech-savvy and connected than you might think.
Get to know how Baby Boomers use social media and where you’re likely to find them so that you can better target your marketing efforts to connect with them.
Where Are Boomers on Social Media?
At last count, there were around 77 million Baby Boomers in the US. Of those, around 65 percent between ages 50-64 and around 41 percent of those 65+ use Facebook.
Baby Boomers are less likely to use or have accounts on other social platforms. For example, just 19 percent of people 50- 64 are on Twitter, and only 21 percent have Instagram accounts.
Social media use among Baby Boomers does mirror social media use among the rest of the population. According to Pew Research Center’s annual social media use study, Facebook remains the most popular social network by far, with 68 percent of all US adults claiming to use it. Other platforms, including Twitter and Instagram, are considerably less popular, used by 24 percent and 35 percent of all adults, respectively.
How Do Baby Boomers Use Social Media?
Although Boomers might track with the general population when it comes to the platforms they use, how they engage with or use those platforms tends to differ. For example, only about one-quarter of Baby Boomer social media users follow a brand on social media compared to nearly half of Generation X and half of Millennials. That seems to suggest that if your brand hopes to connect with a Baby Boomer customer base, it needs to go above and beyond to stand out from the crowd.
Baby Boomers are more likely, however, to take action if they encounter something they like on a social platform. Nearly 60 percent of Boomers are likely to check out a company’s website after finding them on social media, for example.
Boomers also are among the most voracious content consumers, with one study revealing that one-quarter of Boomers spend more than 20 hours per week consuming content. A similar survey from Nielsen found that people over the age of 50 spent the most time reading or watching political and news content than other age groups.
When it comes to content type, video tends to be the most popular, with the majority favoring videos under 5 minutes in length. Additionally, Boomers are more likely to participate in interactive content, such as quizzes and polls, compared to users in other age groups.
How to Connect With Baby Boomers on Social Media
Connecting with Baby Boomers on social media means not only tailoring your company’s message to meet their needs, but also the structure of your content.
For example, since videos are the preferred content type among social media users over 50, it can be worth it to produce informative videos to share on social. Another strategy to try is creating polls or quizzes that grab people’s attention and get them to share information about themselves with your brand.
It’s also important to know what not to do on social media to connect with Boomers. The three social media behaviors that are most likely to convince them to unfollow a brand are:
● Spammy posts
● Having a bad experience with the company
● Annoying posts
Adults of all ages and life experiences use social media these days. To make sure your brand is connecting with its entire audience base on social, it’s important to know what and where your audience is and how they engage. To form a better connection with a Boomer audience, remember the following:
● Be on Facebook
● Try video and interactive content
● Don’t spam your followers with too many posts or with meaningless, non-informative posts.