Baby boomers may not be getting as much of your social media marketing dollars as they should. According to Nielsen, “Typically, once a group of consumers reaches the so-called ‘cut-off’ age of 49, marketers ‘go back to go.’ They renew their focus on a new crop of 18-49s and they start all over again. They are lured by the prospect of a younger consumer who is ripe with lucrative, long-term potential. The goal is to build a fresh group of life-time loyalists and the strategy begins with an investment in penetration.”
Except we’re living longer. And baby boomers’ spending potential is vast. Savvy brands are taking another look at baby boomers for both traditional and social media marketing dollars.
Boomers are on social media—even on sites you wouldn’t expect
According to Pew Research, the best social media sites for reaching baby boomers are Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, according to percentages of who’s online and using each site. But what does that mean in terms of actual target audience numbers? Let’s get number-crunchy up in here.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the total adult population to be about 244 million people as of 2015. If 62 percent of the entire adult population is on Facebook (Pew), that’s 151 million people. And if 64 percent of them are 50-64, that’s 96.6 million targets.
But we all know Facebook is the holy grail of social media. What about the “smaller” social sites—or ones not typically thought of as targeting the older generations. Take Instagram: If 24 percent of the entire adult population is on Instagram (Pew), that’s 58.5 million people. A mere 11 percent of those adults in the 50-64 age range is still a pretty impressive 6.4 million targets.
Market to them on social media like you would anyone else—with a tailored approach
Just like with any key target, taking a customized approach to reaching baby boomers is critical. Before reaching out:
- Define your call-to-action (CTA): Do you want them to visit or site, attend a seminar, sign up for your blog, like your social page or something else? Have that goal in mind before you begin.
- Create messages that are fact and humor based. Baby boomers we polled ranked those attributes as most important in ads.
- In images, think active, not elderly. From AARP: “Advertising must accurately portray boomers’ vitality, priorities, relationships, and the roles they play in their families, communities, workplaces and society at large.”
Engage with audiences. Baby boomers are an inquisitive bunch, so take the time to engage with facts and information when they reach out on social media. Facebook IQ says, 76 percent of baby boomer parents feel more informed than their own parents were in the pre-internet age. For the spending power of this massive group of targets, boomers are well worth the effort.