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Marketing and Motivating Boomers and Beyond

Archive for the ‘Social Networking’ Category

Will Facebook Paper Reach the Doorsteps of Baby Boomers and Seniors?

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

What is Facebook Paper, and why should those marketing to Baby Boomers and seniors care? Facebook Paper is the social network giant’s newest way of delivering content and putting its stamp on the digital world. But it’s not just about providing you with the newest way to reach your personal social newsfeed. Facebook Paper allows you to connect and read all news that is important to you.

I recently began using Facebook Paper and I found it quite intuitive and super-sleek. I have enjoyed it so much that I vowed to never go back to using “regular” Facebook again. If you’re interested in seeing how it works, they’ve created this 2-minute introductory video on how it works.

In the segment, you see there is a subtle nod to the fact that they would like for this to replace your daily newspaper. Or at least that’s what they are hoping. Facebook created the app (only available to IPhone users) to continue to be not only the leading social network, but to chip away at online news sources. Paper combines the two into a one-stop shop.

You not only get to connect with your friends, old and new, but you can select other topics to view. Choose from such areas as “Headlines” (top news), “Score” (sports), “Flavor” (food topics) and “Cute” (all the kittens and puppies you can handle). Customizable, relevant news plus your social network – an ideal for most people in this fast-paced world we live in today.

But the question remains, will Facebook Paper be something the older generation will download?

Will Baby Boomers adopt Facebook Paper?

Creating Results’ 2013 Social, Silver Surfers study found that, despite the fact that social networking activity by older adults has grown in the past 3 years, there is still reluctance to adopt social amongst the older generations.

Chart -social networking activity level by age group - baby boomers, seniors

Most think it’s a waste of time, or it’s too commercial, or it’s a breach of their privacy. So, now that Facebook has taken a more grown-up approach with Paper, will that change the perception of social networking in seniors? Will they even consider the app given the stigma that Facebook has in their minds? Only time will tell, but our guess is that as with its predecessor, seniors and boomers will likely be late adopters to Paper if at all.

How Facebook Paper affects the way we market to Baby Boomers

Short answer: it shouldn’t.

If your business is already on Facebook and attracting the 50+ audience, then there’s nothing you need to change. The information you put on Facebook will automatically be put onto Facebook Paper. There is no need to make additional posts in one place versus the other.

Currently, Facebook Paper is only available to those with iPhones. It has not trickled to those with iPads or for Android users. And while Mobile and Tablet users among the older generations has increased (some as much as 117% in the last year, as seen with our client North Hill), the dominant way for your prospects viewing you online is still via their desktop (more than 75%). Therefore, the chances that your older audience is using Facebook Paper are quite limited at this stage.

What’s all the hype?

If you hadn’t heard about Facebook Paper before today, you’re actually not alone. Facebook Paper is a very new app (released in February 2014), so it hasn’t had much time to gain users and awareness. Just 4% of mobile users said they have downloaded Facebook Paper already. Another 10% said they know what it is. 11% said they have heard of Facebook Paper but don’t exactly know what it is. And 76% of mobile users said they have never even heard of Facebook Paper.

Therefore, while it’s a very intuitive and sleekly designed application, we at Creating Results do not see boomers and seniors trading in their New York Times subscriptions just yet. (Print is still a very valuable medium to Baby Boomers.) Nor do we even envision them seeing the need to combine their online news sources with their social networks.

Tell us, have you downloaded Facebook Paper yet? Do you think older generations will jump in? Share your comments with us.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Personal Data, Public Appeals

Monday, March 31st, 2014

March whipped by. April is only one day away. Could the mythical season called “Spring” be far behind?

We won’t delay when it comes to rounding up the top mature marketing links. Based on clicks, tweets, favorites and other shares, here’s what caught the attention of the 50+ marketing crowd last week.

1. MOST CLICKED: Mintel found that baby boomers are less likely to share their personal data with marketers than Millennials. The younger set is twice as likely to share phone numbers and credit scores, and three times as likely to share their social media profile. And if marketers think they can bribe incentivize consumers to get that data, they’ll find older targets are more resistant.

Chart - comparing willingness of boomers, millennials to share information with marketers

Read more highlights from the Mintel study here: http://bit.ly/1dHwiKz

RELATED: Our 2013 Social, Silver Surfers study showed clearly that older adults want to draw a firmer line between personal and public. 40% of all respondents over 40 years old said they had concerns about oversharing and/or the security of their information.

Chart - what older adults like least about social networking


Buy the eBook and gain actionable insights for overcoming objections: http://amzn.to/HSH0yD

2. MOST SHARED: Realtors are one group that must make personal connections work for a public effort — selling homes. Michael Harris-Arzon shared his tips on WHEN Realtors should post to social networking sites to capture the most eyeballs.

Read the post: http://bit.ly/1feaOmA

3. Also of note:

* Better Homes & Gardens released data that contradicts studies by National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), AARP and others. The magazine claims that the majority of baby boomers DO intend to move for retirement. In fact, “more than a quarter, or 27% said they would most likely move to a traditional retirement community such as a 55+ exclusive neighborhood.”

As Todd Harff wrote on this blog in 2010,

“Creating Results has spent more than 15 years of marketing real estate to older, more affluent homebuyers, including a large number of premier active adult communities. What we have found is that – absent the high cost of living states and escape from urban areas – only a small percentage of people are willing to move more than 100 miles. Most people don’t want to move at all and would prefer to age in place.”

Creating Results has now been helping 50+ housing clients reach their goals for 19 years. We have marketed 114 age-qualified communities in 15 states and Mexico, helped to motivate roughly 15,000 people to move.

We would agree with the magazine’s research team that an improving housing market would have more boomers considering moves. But we’d caution against building traditional retirement communities for a very untraditional cohort, as the public appeal of private enclaves has been diminishing.

Read a summary of the BHG research: http://bit.ly/1i7Qcey

RELATED: Baby Boomer Housing Trends, explored at a 2013 Urban Land Institute conference http://bit.ly/18wQUSM

* Shameless plug alert! Creating Results is honored to be nominated by SeniorHomes.com as the Best Sales and Marketing Consultants. Votes from readers of this blog will help us advance to the next round. We’d appreciate your consideration and a 5-second vote: http://bit.ly/1mEQyyY.

Thank you!

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Email + Social, Millennials at Home

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

What boomer and senior marketing resources captured the most clicks, shares and conversation last week? Read on for our regular links round-up.

1. MOST CLICKED: Did you know that an old channel (email) can help you be more effective with a new channel (social)? Chris Penn explains how:

Facebook and Twitter “can accept an upload of email addresses from your existing email marketing platform or CRM… With these new advertising platforms, your email list is now at the heart of your retargeting abilities. With your email house list, you can now reach people in multiple, different channels to make sure they see the important stuff.”

Learn six ways to use Twitter’s Tailored Audienceshttp://bit.ly/N2Uydi

Learn 10 ways to use Facebook’s Custom Audienceshttp://bit.ly/1f67hYH

2. MOST SHARED: Will Millennials change the home marketplace? A Better Homes & Gardens survey claims they will. However, after more than a decade marketing active adult housing, Creating Results can’t help but noticing most of the Millennial demands are just like mom and dad’s.

  • Per BHG, ”Millennials are swarming into the home marketplace armed with information, ideas and a passionate desire for personalization.” Hard to believe any age group could do more research than Baby Boomers, and the generation’s desire for experiences and products customized just for them is legendary.
  • Per BHG, Millennials want work spaces in their home for office and crafts work. Just like the most popular floor plans at senior living and 50+ housing communities …
  • Per BHG, Millennials will consider children in their decor choices. Well, there we part ways. Boomers typically consider themselves, their adult children AND aging parents when kitting out their homes.

Read the press release on the survey: http://bit.ly/1hpEkce

And do share your comments below!

Mature Marketing Quick Facts3. Also of note: More than 50 people clicked from our latest Mature Marketing “Quick Facts” quarterly email to find out what social networks boomers and seniors are using now. Another 40+ clicked to learn more about content marketing.

Read the eNewsletter: http://bit.ly/1kO1r0r

Subscribe, and be among the first to get Quick Facts by email: http://eepurl.com/DewP


Mature Marketing Links of the Week – A smattering of digital

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Our regular mature marketing links round-up this week features a smattering of data, thought-pieces and tips all related to the digital space. Is it a sign of the continually growing use of technology by older adults? Or a sign that marketers and businesses are finally looking past stereotypes about this group?

Either way, on with the links!

1. MOST SHARED: On which social networking platforms will you find baby boomers and seniors? We share data from two sources — the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s latest report and Creating Results’ Social, Silver Surfers national study.Chart - percentage of online adults by age group using facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and linked in

Read the post:  http://bit.ly/KV4og8


* 5 ways to heat up tech sales to seniors: http://bit.ly/1lUQoBH

I’d say these same recommendations – Make it Fun, Tailor Recommendations, Influence the Influencers – also could be applied to social media and content marketing. When it comes down to it, you need to be as thoughtful with your sales and marketing as seniors are with their purchase decisions.

* When the New York Times overhauled its website last week, one of the changes had to do with “native advertising.” Curious about what that is, and why it’s getting so much hype? A CPC Strategy Blog post presents a roundtable discussion featuring 18 digital marketing pros: http://bit.ly/1eONglJ

* Thought-leader Brian Solis shares his 2014-2015 agenda, “the years where the importance of customer and employee experience triggers a revolution in digital transformation.” Here are two of Solis’ focus areas which stood out to me:

    1. Social Business will be a way of business not a stand alone, bolt-on or isolated functional strategy.

    Solis notes that most companies still see social as limited to marketing and customer service. He feels companies need to have social woven into all business functions.

     3. Digital transformation is going to be driven by the desire to integrate and enhance the evolving customer experience

     Who is looking at the customer journey at your senior living community or 50+ focused organization? What touch points could be transformed and improved by digital? How could you better engage and serve customers?

Because our agency’s expertise is the 50+ consumer, we get to talk with organizations in a lot of different industries. And often there is not only a relegating of social to the marketing but resistance by other departments. Enhancing customer experience will mean busting silos and creating, as Solis writes, a culture of innovation.

Read the post: http://bit.ly/1dJVB84


We’d love to hear your thoughts on digital transformation specific to boomers and seniors AND the organizations marketing to them. Please leave a comment below. Thanks!

Which Social Networks are Boomers and Seniors Using Now?

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

The Pew Internet & American Life Project kicked off their New Year’s celebration on December 30, popping the cork on a new report that details which social networks are used by baby boomers, seniors and other adults. The data reinforces Creating Results’ Social, Silver Surfers research showing that Facebook is the dominant platform for people over 50.

Per Pew, 73% of all American adults who use the Internet now also use social networking sites. Which social platforms are frequented by boomers (represented by the 50-64 year age group) and seniors (found in the 65+ group)?

Chart - percentage of online adults by age group using facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and linked in

(Click on the chart above for a larger, share-able image.) Pew’s report points out that use of Facebook by people over 65 increased 10 percentage points since 2012.

As we noted in Social, Silver Surfers, Creating Results’ new ebook on the digital practices and preferences of older adults,

“… we believe that if you had to choose only one social network for your mature marketing efforts it should be Facebook.

It’s clear from our survey and from documented usage patterns that Facebook is the 800 pound gorilla in the social networking zoo.

When it comes to unaided awareness, Facebook is thought of first, it is thought of the most. 85% of all respondents (even those who don’t use social networks at all) answered Facebook when asked to name platforms that they were familiar with.”

Our data showed a higher use of Instagram and LinkedIn by older social networkers, as the following table illustrates:

Chart - social networking platforms used by online adults over 40

Creating Results posed this query as an unaided question, so you’ll note that we discovered 70% of older adults see YouTube as a social platform. We also learned a significant number of elders see email as social. Don’t overlook these channels!

It’s a New Year, but it seems an “old” platform remains dominant for boomers and beyond. How will you apply this information to your digital marketing program? Please share your thoughts below.

The Age of Email (Does this account make me look old?)

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

MailChimp — the email marketing service provider used to send more than 4 billion emails a month, including this blog — recently asked and answered a great question:

If all you knew about someone was their email address, what would you know about them?

After pointing out the obvious prefix clues (John=male, grl=female), John Foreman of MailChimp took a look at the clues a domain name provides. One insight? The account used indicated the age of the user.

  1. Gmail median age: 31
  2. Hotmail median age: 31 (the author attributes this to its Microsoft ownership and tie-ins with xbox)
  3. Yahoo median age: 34
  4. AOL median age: 43
  5. Comcast median age: 49

The links between age and email habits showed up several ways in MailChimp’s analysis. For one, the older you are, the more likely you are to have/be willing to pay for service with AOL and Comcast. Age also influences interest. MailChimp looked at what type of content folks were subscribed to based on their email domain.

MailChimp data shows interests vary by ISP

Graphic courtesy of MailChimp.


This data aligns with Creating Results’ experience in email marketing for senior living communities and with our research into Social, Silver Surfers. We are unsurprised that the older AOL and Comcast users aren’t interested in emails about social networking. Our survey data shows the older you are, the more likely you are to view email itself as social.

Chart - Seniors are most likely to see email itself as a social networking tool.

And, the older adults Creating Results surveyed showed a strong preference for web content related to restaurants – 70% of all respondents said they frequent food/restaurant sites. Our poll didn’t offer “Politics” as an option but it did include “News,” which often has a political flavor.  News was the second most popular category of websites among “silver surfers,” visited by 73% of our respondents over 40 years old.

It’s worth noting (as we do in the Social, Silver Surfers ebook) that Yahoo! and AOL aren’t just email services. They’re portals that provide news, politics, home & garden and even games all in one place.  So we’d suggest many older adults may not see a reason to subscribe to that same content by email.

Marketers, what is your experience? Do you find a higher percentage of Comcast and AOL users in email lists for services targeting older olds? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

RELATED: “Beyond the Blast – the nuts ‘n bolts of email marketing” – 2012 presentation to Planned Giving Group of New England

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Granny Tech Advisor and Boomer Financial Security

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Happy Monday and Happy Veterans Day.  We at Creating Results are grateful for the brave men and women who so selflessly serve and protect our freedoms – today (and everyday) we offer our thanks.  Now on to the mature marketing links of the week which had people talking, sharing and liking.  Have something else to share?  Please be sure to include in the comment section below.Granny Blogger

MOST SHARED: A Wall Street Journal article profiling Natalie Yellin, a 75-year old tech advisor for Square Inc. received a number of shares this past week.  This sweet story details what began as Yellin turning to Twitter as a way to reach her 30 year old grandson when he wasn’t returning her calls.  Her use of the social media platform had led to Yellin having a significant Twitter following and involvement in testing new releases for Square Inc.

Ms. Yellin, who was widowed a decade ago, adheres to a social-media routine. Upon arising, she seizes her iPad to begin trading good-morning messages to a group of about 50 people.

Ms. Yellin even receives social media love from senior members of the company, including Jack Dorsey who was a co-founder of Twitter before Square Inc.  This senior’s embrace of social media is a commentary on just how comfortable boomers and seniors are becoming with the medium… and a reminder that if you don’t call your grandmother she will find a way to track you down! Read the full article here.

MOST CLICKED: The University of Bristol in the UK recently shared findings regarding boomers and seniors financial satisfaction.  Interviewing boomers and seniors across 56 countries and 6 continents, the study found that the Swiss, followed by Norway, Sweden and Finland had the highest levels of satisfaction.  In the US 64% of participants reported being happy with their current financial situation.

“To put some of these results into context, the global average of financial satisfaction among younger individuals (aged 16-49) is 52 per cent, slightly lower than the figure for those aged 50 and above.  However, in Great Britain, there is a substantial and highly significant difference.  While 80 per cent of older Britons report being satisfied with their financial situation, only two-thirds (66 per cent) of those aged under 50 feel the same.”

Click here to learn more about the study.

eBook_SocialSilverSurfers2013.1.1.1SOCIAL, SILVER SURFERS: We appreciate the interest we’ve already seen in our Social, Silver Surfers eBook which was released this past week.  Our latest research picks up where we left off in 2010, examining Boomer and Senior preferences and insights for websites and social media.  Download your copy today and discover how you can make the most of  your digital marketing efforts to reach mature consumers.

Who Uses Instagram and Snapchat? Not 65+ Seniors

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Online photo sharing and video sharing are on the rise, reveals a new report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. And while Instagram and Snapchat are seeing significant gains in users, these mobile apps are not being used in significant numbers by 65+ seniors.

The Pew report summarizes:

“More internet users are using photos and videos as a social currency: 54% of internet users have posted original photos or videos to websites and 47% share photos or videos they found elsewhere online. Young adults and women lead the way in each of these activities.”

This chart illustrates the adoption of these mobile photo/video apps by age group:

Chart: adoption of instagram, snapchat by age group

We all have to make decisions about where to spend our time or money to improve our seniors marketing program effectiveness. Therefore, while we recognize that these types of mobile photo apps are becoming more popular, for now we’d recommend seniors marketers skip these “new, shiny objects.”

Just for fun, we compared the adoption of these new headline channels with an old one: TV news. After taking a look at the chart below, tell us: where will you invest your precious marketing hours?

Chart - use of instagram, snapchat and tv news by age

RELATED: Hot or Not? Digital Marketing, Seniors and the Need For Strategy

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Retirement Planning and Hybrids

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Happy Monday!  Let’s get to it – these are the mature marketing stories that had people talking this past week.  Have an interesting piece that we should share?  Please be sure to post in the comment section below.

MOST CLICKED: A retirement article from Time entitled Here Come the Three Horsemen of the Retirement Apocalypse had many clicking away this past week.  The article focuses on three key retirement plans in the US -  Social Security, employer plans and personal savings, all of which have weakened over the last several years. According to the article and Barbara Novick of BlackRock:

 The time has come for “out-of-the-box thinking” and a “holistic solution.

Recommendations from BlackRock for making the most of retirement investments include looking to annuities and setting aside more of that monthly paycheck. Regardless of the approach, this is a topic that has many boomers nearing retirement watching closely.

MOST SHARED: Boomers are going gaga for hybrid cars, according to a recent study by Baylor University detailed within Quartz. According to the article boomers, who account for more than half of all consumer spending, are flocking to more environmentallhybridy friendly vehicles, with the average age of owners surveyed being 70.  The appeal of hybrids for this cohort?  The pride of doing their part to help protect the environment.

Today’s older consumers came of age during the height of the environmental movement in the 1970s, and for some the propensity to pay more for products perceived as green, whether it’s organic food or a $30,000 car, has been baked into their purchasing habits.

That suggests carmakers should tweak their marketing: less Raphael and more Rolling Stones, for one thing. And emphasize the greener-than-thou psychic benefits of buying a hybrid. And keep hyping the fuel savings.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT: The Creating Results team is currently attending the Annual LeadingAge Conference in Dallas.  Be sure to be on the lookout for tweets and real-time news from the conference and, if you are attending, we’d love to share your insights and takeaways as well.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week- Social Media Trends and Strategies

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Happy Monday!  It’s hard to believe another week has come and gone.  Here we showcase those mature marketing articles and news from the last week that had people talking.  Interest in posts regarding social media dominated, receiving many shares, comments and clicks.  We welcome (and encourage) your comments, so please share your 50+ marketing news in the comment section below.

Social Media TrendsMOST CLICKED: An oldie but goodie from Marketing Charts peeked interests last week.  The article examined usage among Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest users to determine the types of needs each channel is used for.  Overall, Pinterest users value the creativity opportunities provided, while Facebook users valued the ability to connect with friends and family and Twitter users liked seeing what their friends posted.

When asked if purchases were impacted by these platforms, participants gave low marks- with only 24% of Pinterest users, 11% of Facebook and 16% of Twitter indicating they made purchase decisions based on social networks, however all said that their networks did create influence by providing additional information about products and alerting to deals and steals.  The implication for marketers? Social media brand loyalists are important when helping to create and sustain awareness, even if an immediate action or purchase is not made, so be sure to engage them.

This report is aligned with what Creating Results has found through our Social Silver Surfer research when examining Boomer and Senior perceptions of social media networks.  Our survey discovered that social sharing tools are incredibly important to the mature consumer as is the ability to connect with friends.

MOST SHARED:  Michael Brito’s presentation regarding the digital ecosystem received a lot of shares this last week.  An article regarding his presentation was shared on Spiral 16 and shared Brito’s thoughts on the challenges of leveraging social media.  Tops among the challenges-  first and foremost the sheer volume of content consumers are exposed to each day.  The  importance of relevant content is critical to help consumers determine what content is most important. The solution?  According to Brito, an online marketing content strategy that tells a story and shares relevant, engaging content is critical.   Click here to discover more about how you can shape your digital content strategy.

WORTH REPEATING: What Count’s Who Needs SEO Anyway? (You Do) article shares a variety of search engine optimization best practices and provides great insights regarding keywords, images, links and more.

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