Talkin' to my Generation: How to Market to Baby Boomers and Beyond Using Social Media
AWC PRESENTS:HostJudy Asman, Member,AWC ProfessionalDevelopment CommitteeSpeakerAngela Williamson,Scholar, Social MediaMarketing to OlderGenerations
Why this webinar?• The topic of generationalcommunications came up in one ofour committee meetings.• We agreed that this is an extremelyimportant topic. As marketers whoare responsible for messaging, ourfirst task is always to look at ouraudience.• My original intent was to host awebinar focusing on multiplegenerations.• My mind was ablaze with ideas. Judy Asman
Enter Angela…• Judy met Angela at an Orange Chamberof Commerce Lunch n’ Learn, whereAngela offered best practices formarketing through social media.• I learned about her work. As a doctoralcandidate in Human Services,specializing in Management of NonprofitAgencies, at Capella University, Angelais researching how seniors engage withsocial media and the medium’s impacton their buying decisions.
About Angela…• She is a Southern California native withmore than 15 years’ experience in TV andmarketing.• A former producer for the Orange CountyNewsChannel, communications specialist atExperian Information Systems and a salesmarketing producer at Fox 11 Television.• A multiple Telly awards recipient, Angelacurrently teaches courses in social media,public relations, public speaking andintercultural communication as an adjunctcommunications professor at ConcordiaUniversity in Irvine.Angela Williamson
Welcome Angela…Angela WilliamsonToday, we’ll talk about:•Where do older adults “hang out”online?•What is the buying power of theseaudiences?•The burgeoning influence of digitalmarketing among this group.•How to reach them through socialmedia.
Angela’s Research• As companies utilize social media as aplatform, one specific audience may beabandoned during this organizational shift,older adults.• Older adults still face challenges inunderstanding how to effectively use socialmedia.• Older adults are slowest generation tointegrate social media networking into theirdaily lives.• Face-to-face surveys explore if there is acorrelational relationship betweentechnological anxiety and efficacy in learningsocial media.
REALITY BYTESDo older adults reallyhang out online?Yes. Without question.
Online DatingRecently, Discovery Fitness & Health published theTop 5 Dating Sites for Active Older Adults.•It reported SeniorMatch.com as the second highest onthe list. It is one of the top-ranked sites for boomers andolder adults, according to SeniorDating.org, with500,000 members.•The article also notes that OurTime.com has more than1 million members. Launched in May 2011, this websiteis the worlds largest dating community for older adults.
How Digital Improves Lifestyle• The physical and mental health status scores ofSilverSneakers members are consistently higher thanthose reported for this age group nationally on theMedicare Health Outcomes survey.• Sixty-nine percent of members report that their overallhealth has improved since joining SilverSneakers, 48%say their diet is healthier, and 39% say theyparticipate in social activities more often.
THE TECHNOLOGYWhat devices do seniorsuse to receive informationand engage with othersonline?
Tablets Rule• Tablet computers are most popularamong older adults and aregaining on laptops.• Tablets are cheaper than mostdesktops and laptops.• Tablet ownership is growingamong seniors, Pew reports.• In 2012 alone, the proportion of the65-plus population with a tabletclimbed to 15 percent from 8percent.• Among those older than 77, tabletownership jumped to 12 percentfrom 3 percent.wow!
Buying power!• Older adults and social media is anuntapped billion dollar market.• This generation is the most likelygroup to frequent social mediawebsites specializing in healthcareand wellness.• My current research suggests thatthis generation will follow blogs andparticipate in online healthdiscussions.• Many older adults use social mediato learn about chronic diseases,medication, etc. They also want toform relationships that willdecrease their loneliness.
#5 Know your audience.There are four levels of olderadults according to the PewInstitute and it’s important toknow how these groups differfrom one another.1.Younger boomers are bornbetween 1955-1964.2.Older boomers are bornbetween 1946-1954.3.The silent generation wasborn between 1937-1945.4.The GI generation was bornbefore 1936.
#4 Hire the Right Talent• Choose a social mediacommunity manager that isstrong in “buildingrelationships” on your socialmedia platform.• 20% of Americans will be overthe age of 65 by the year2020 and understanding howto build relationships witholder adults may strengthen“stickiness” with this particulargroup.
#3 Provide Easy Navigation• Understand that although moreolder adults are using socialmedia, there are still majorchallenges for older adults islearning a new technicalplatform due to technologicalanxiety, psychological barriers,and cognitive learning abilities.• Your social media marketingshould include simple contentand easy navigation.
#2 Focus on Active Users• For organizations tosuccessfully integratesocial media as a tool toreach older adults, it musthave an audience of activeusers.• Understand that there aregenerational differences insocial media usage and ifyou write content that donot address “senior”issues, older adults will notparticipate.
#1 Have PatienceSocial media strategytargeting older adultsrequires creativity andpatience, especially whenexploring how to provideproducts and services toolder adults through socialmedia.
Bonus Tips• Older adults use social media fortwo main reasons: To decreaseloneliness and to enhance a senseof community.• All content targeting older adultsshould have a call to action toanswer these two basic needs.• The biggest frustration with olderadults using social media is theinability to reach out to a “live”person if they havequestions/issues about the socialmedia website.• Social media activities targetingolder adults should include sometype of personal interaction.
Two Things1. Choose at least 2-3social media channelstargeting older adults(suggestions are blogs,YouTube and Facebookincluded in an emailcampaign).2. Create a content planthat will generatediscussion andengagement (rememberresearch shows thatengagement drives thisaudience).