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Part 2 of a series on using Social Media to market to Boomers and beyond.

PART 2: BABY BOOMERS, SENIORS AND TWITTER

The media appears to have fallen in love with Twitter (heck, even my 97-year-old Nana has heard of Twitter by now). Who’s on Twitter? The New York Times reports that younger Boomers are fueling Twitter’s growth, while Sysomos data suggests 81% of all Twitter users are 29 or younger.  How important is Twitter for marketing to Baby Boomers and seniors? Paul Briand of the Examiner notes “Baby Boomers 55 to 64 are Twitter users on a slightly lower level, but at a greater frequency than users aged 18 to 24. That's because Twitter has become less of a social network and more of a marketing/social network.” We see that as in keeping with this cohort’s lifestage; it’s a time in their lives when they are focused on both social and vocational development. The New York Times points out mature consumers and technology adoption are not actually strange bedfellows.
As the Web grows up, so do its users, and for many analysts, Twitter’s success represents a new model for Internet success. The notion that children are essential to a new technology’s success has proved to be largely a myth. Adults have driven the growth of many perennially popular Web services. YouTube attracted young adults and then senior citizens before teenagers piled on. Blogger’s early user base was adults and LinkedIn has built a successful social network with professionals as its target.
At Creating Results, the jury’s still out on Twitter’s effectiveness as a business engine for effectively motivating seniors and Boomers to buy.

Curious about the role social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can play in your Boomer marketing programs?  When deciding where to budget your dollars and effort to reach mature consumers, consider the research/statistics.  Also, consider the similarities between the offline and online behavior of Baby Boomers and beyond.  “Businesses and mature consumers often approach challenges and decision-making in a similar fashion – cautiously,” we wrote in our summer newsletter.  As Creating Results works with clients on comprehensive internet marketing strategies, we recommend acting like the Boomers and Silent Generation members we target:  go slowly and be choosy. Over the next few posts, we’ll be sharing stats on how Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and/or niche sites are used by mature (40+) consumers, along with some generational marketing insights to help your organization reach its goals. 

PART 1:  SOCIAL NETWORKING USE BY GENERATION 

eMarketer statistics identify which social networking sites are used by Baby Boomers, WWII, and Generations X, Y and Z: Networking Sites Used in US by Generation.eMarketer  (Where are the Silents? Anderson Analytics either lumped the roughly 59 million people born between 1925 and 1942 in with the WWII generation or this cohort is very, very quiet indeed.) The reasons for joining a social network are quite similar across the generations, per eMarketer:

Have you seen Seth Godin's blog post on the "Death Spiral" - how businesses fail because they cut corners rather than change?  It mirrors what we have been advising clients and what we have been doing as an agency.  Seth wrote: As Tom Peters says, "You can't shrink your way to greatness," and yet that's what so many dying businesses try to…

British researchers have theorized that working past retirement age can delay dementia.  The Boston Globe theorizes that this may be a benefit to older Americans forced to continue working.  On one point there is no question: Since the start of the recession, more people nearing or just past retirement age have opted to stay in the workforce. Polina Vlasenko, a researcher…

Neat case study and analysis by Boomer marketing expert Brent Green of a wonderful Mutual of Omaha campaign.  Consumer testimonials + videos = emotional relevance.  As "professor" Green puts it, "the Mutual of Omaha’s campaign [is] quite wise in the context of much national stupidity. It’s a nuanced and integrated branding program that appropriately portrays older people as relevant, passionate…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Yup, the time of marketing top ten lists. These are some of the lists that Creating Results team members appreciated, as they can shine a light on best practices and help mature marketers reach their goals in 2009. 2008 Review: A PowerPoint, Chuck Nyren’s 20 minute take on mature marketing,.  Good info…

Resources for marketers looking to connect with the 40+ market, including Baby Boomers and members of the Silent Generation: White Papers and Reports Is your website primed for 50+ visitors? - A website usability guide for satisfying silver surfers. A Focalyst study on Green Marketing - "Green means more than money when targeting Baby Boomers." Webinars What's working (and what's missing the target) with…