Grandma Likes My Facebook Status: Older Adults in the Digital Enterprise | IxDA 13


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This presentation was made at IxDA 13' in Toronto. "My grandparents use Facebook" is not something we would have heard a couple of years ago. But today, it is more common than we may think. Though young adults are the heaviest users of social media, older adults aged 65+ are penetrating the digital and social sphere faster than we can imagine. In fact, they are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook.

Brands have no choice but to respond. Why is this happening, and what does this mean for us as innovators, strategists, and the culturally curious? This presentation will help us understand the digital practices of older adults, and opportunities it can create for the social and business models of our clients and brands.

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Grandma Likes My Facebook Status: Older Adults in the Digital Enterprise | IxDA 13

  1. 1. Grandma Likes My Facebook StatusOlder Adults in the Digital Enterprise Azmina Karimi Experience Designer at Crispin Porter + Bogusky @azminak
  2. 2. Senior Texting CodeATD At the Doctor’sHGBM Had Good Bowel MovementOMMR On My Massage ReclinerCBM Covered By MedicareLMDO Laughing My Dentures Out
  3. 3. Stan, Grandmasaid she poked you and you haven’t poked her back.
  4. 4. There’s something very special happening inthe marketplace right now.
  5. 5. More older adults are online thanwe may know...For the first time in HISTORY, 53% of adultsaged 65+ are online.1/3 of them are on social networking sites.
  6. 6. They may be experiencing a learning curve, but they ARE online.
  7. 7. And they’re not just on computers...70% of seniors own a cell phone.11% of online seniors use a tablet, up from 4% in 2004.
  8. 8. As designers, we already know thataccessibility is important in developing products and technologies.
  9. 9. But, are we also inclusive of the ONLINE community?
  10. 10. We’re seeing a constant growth in theirsocial media usage.Social networking site use, 2005-2011 33% 26% 13% 7% 1% 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
  11. 11. Why are they going ONLINE?
  12. 12. I decided to find out.
  13. 13. To deal with everyday tasks. “I’m a practical techie. If it helps me, I’ll have it. I use the computer to do all our accounting. We also do online banking, I watch my stocks and shares, and go to BBC World.” - Jane, late-60’s
  14. 14. To connect with family and friends. “My youngest daughter, Facebook and email is the best way to communicate with her and then my son, regular email works best with him or phone, and then my oldest biological daughter, it’s a toss-up...I know it’s not that big of a deal but I’d also like to learn texting, because my kids text a lot.” - Ernie, early-60’s
  15. 15. To feel YOUTHFUL. “If you don’t live your life now, that’s it…so I make up for the things I couldn’t do before... I only get this retirement once. I want to do these things... This is my time. If I ever end up in a wheelchair, I want to learn even more things to do with technology.” - Sheila, early-70’s
  16. 16. To stay up-to-date and with the times. “Years ago, communication was not constant. Now technology is so advanced that you are obliged to keep in touch. When someone texts me or sends an email message, I answer them right away.” -Norma, mid-60’s
  17. 17.
  18. 18. Older adults are tech-savvier than we may realize.
  19. 19. So, they’re online.Why is this valuable?
  20. 20.
  21. 21. They have a lot more buying power.30% more likely to purchase onlinethan younger users.• 43% of all new cars are purchased by seniors.• Per capita income is 28% higher than other groups.• 79% of America’s financial assets are owned by seniors.• Account for over 79% of all leisure travel spending.• There are more people over 65 than teenagers in the marketplace.
  22. 22. They like to SHARE. A lot.“Everybody phones me to find out stuff - I seem tokeep track of things well. I’m a living newspaper.” -Linda, mid-60’s
  23. 23. They have more time.The amount of time a senior will spend on theaverage fan page is much longer than a teenager.
  24. 24. We’re an aging population...By 2030, nearly half the nation will be aged 50+.
  25. 25. They listen, and want to be heard. Listen up, brands!
  26. 26. “The loudest generation.” -Brian Proffitt
  27. 27. Brand Love63% of online seniors agree that when they find a brand they like, they stick to it.
  28. 28. Brand Loyalty = |Increased Customers
  29. 29. Brand Loyalty =Engagement
  30. 30. KRAFT Macaroni and Cheese: Old Birds, New Tweets
  31. 31. Meet Frankie and Dottie. 80-something year oldswho took over the brand’s social media accounts.
  32. 32. “Not to toot my horn, but pretty good for myfirst on a phone camera! See Dottie, look at you. Copying the youngsters!”
  33. 33. Timeless ladies with lots to say. And many listened.
  34. 34. They helped bridge generations.
  35. 35. Social media posts from the pairreached 11 million people.27 YouTube videos with a total of100,000 views.
  36. 36. Brand Loyalty =(that warm fuzzy feeling)
  37. 37. So, what can we do as (Digital) Strategists?
  38. 38. It’s all about relationships.• 31% interact because they like being associated with the brand.• 60+% of consumers use multiple channels to connect with brands.• 1/5 of US online adults frequently recommend brands, products, or services they like to friends or family.
  39. 39. ConnectedPassionateEmpowered
  40. 40. Make grandma and grandpa feel like they’re still hot!
  41. 41. Thank you(grandma). @azminak