Don’t Leave Seniors Out of Your Social Media Campaigns

Social Media for Seniors

Not surprising, according to Pew Research, 90% of those age 18-29, and 78% of 30-49 year-olds use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

With good reason marketers spend big budgets to reach these targets through social media. But, the same research found that 65% of U.S. adults 50-64 and 46% of those 65+ are active, regular users of social networking, and are growing more rapidly than any other segment.

This trend has a “silver” lining.  Seniors can be effectively reached through social channels on which your product or service is already active.

Here are five reasons why older consumers, if they are buyers or users of your product or services, should be a targeted component of your social media campaigns.

1. Seniors are wealthy

According to Nielsen, by 2020, close to 50% of the U.S. adult population will be 50 and older and they will control 70% of the country’s disposable income. What’s more, they stand to inherit $15 trillion in the next 20 years. While young adults are still planning for the future, seniors are already wealthy. With an annual disposable income of $2.4 trillion, seniors also have money to spend.

2. Seniors outspend younger counterparts

Seniors have disposable funds from decades of saving and investing. They account for nearly 50% of all retail sales and outspend other generations by an estimated $400 billion each year on consumer goods and services, according to a U.S. Government Consumer Expenditure Survey.

3. An investment with more immediate returns

Today’s seniors were the first to experience the beginnings of the Internet. Building brand equity among younger consumers is smart, but may often require a substantial investment and longevity before a return is realized. Using social campaigns to engage those with the access to funds now, allows your product or service to reap immediate benefits.

4. Active and available on social media

According to globalwebindex, 70% of online seniors have a Facebook account, and are spending an average of 216 minutes per day on social media. In their use of technology, the youngest of the senior segment are nearly as likely to be online as younger adults.

5. They like online shopping

Seniors have become prolific online shoppers. According to Nielsen, a third of them shop online and the 50+ segment spends almost $7 billion in ecommerce. The No. 1 purchase influencer for seniors is online shopping sites (at 62%) followed closely by advertising, and advice from a sales person, according to a Synchrony Financial report. Forrester Research found that 72% of adults aged 55-to-63 shop online, and seniors outspend younger adults online 2:1 each year.

While targeting seniors on social networks can makes sense, it’s important your message and offer proposition are appealing.  If you market insurance, for example, the 50+ market has very different needs and motivations than someone in their 30s.  We’d be happy to help with a campaign to reach this valuable segment via social media.

Mark Weinstein