It should come as no surprise to you that small business owners can reach younger customers through social media marketing. However, many entrepreneurs and their teams may be surprised by its ability to impact sales among older adults as well. If you’re aiming to target senior citizens with your marketing efforts, social media may be the affordable secret weapon you need to get a leg up on the competition.
The senior population is rising
In fact, the 70+ age group is the fastest growing demographic among social networks today. More and more seniors are becoming computer literate and connecting online with family, friends, and services that they need, as made evident by this Mashable/Statista graph. This is why it is extremely beneficial for small businesses to have a solid social media strategy targeted toward seniors and their lifestyle needs.
According to statistics, every day for the next twenty years, 10,000 baby boomers will join the marketing group of seniors. Consequently, brands should takeinto serious consideration a social media marketing strategy designed specificallyfor reaching seniors.
Social platforms for seniors
Choosing the right social platforms for your small business can mean a world of difference when reaching seniors. The following are the top social media platforms seniors use:
Facebook- Over 10% of Facebook users are senior citizens; they are using it to connect with family and lost friends. They also share photos, play games, and participate in contests.
Twitter- Seniors enjoy Twitter because they consider it to be an easy-to-follow stream of information for things like news and health care.
YouTube- Because they prefer videos and images over written sales pitches, seniors are easier to reach through short, interesting clips.
Pinterest- This platform is a favorite among seniors for the images that they can pin and collect on their boards. There are even creative boards on Pinterest that are specifically for senior citizens, like this one.
Tips on how small businesses can use social media in marketing to seniors
Post plenty of pictures and tales. Seniors prefer images and stories rather than the promotion of services.
Narrow the target audience. Businesses must know whether or not they want to target seniors or their children. There is a big difference.
Create and post relevant content. Seniors want to read content that is interesting and pertaining to their age group. Health news and hobbies are just a few popular topics among seniors on social media.
Involve seniors and their families in community events. Social media is a great way to get the word out about events that are happening around town.
Commit to frequent postings. Scheduled posts that seniors can count on are extremely important in a social media marketing strategy.
AARP is an example of a larger company that successfully targets senior citizens in their social media marketing campaign. They use Facebook, Twitter (check theirs out here), and YouTube to market content referring to grandchildren and offering tips on staying healthy and active. In fact, AARP has over one million likes on Facebook.
Fall Alert, a retailer of alert systems for seniors, is another example of a business that uses their Facebook page to connect with seniors about their medical alert service. They post short, lighthearted updates on subjects ranging from history and health, to vintage pop culture. Their pictures are attention-grabbing, and the content is consistently engaging and relevant to seniors.
It is evident that small business owners who fail to create a social media strategy for seniors will be left behind when it comes to exposure and overall sales. Many companies are still attempting to understand and come up with a solid strategy to connect with seniors, and this will surely continue over the next two decades or so. The small business that develops plans to reach senior citizens through Tweets, images on Pinterest, and videos on YouTube will undoubtedly rise to the top.
Jennifer Irvin is a copywriter and social media manager for multiple companies, including Neighborhood IQ, Home Loan Advisor, and Veridian Technologies.