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Part 3 of a series on marketing to Baby Boomers and beyond through social networking. PART 3: FACEBOOK PRESENTS OPPORTUNITIES FOR BOOMER, SENIOR MARKETING First, the headlines touted how Baby Boomers (especially women) were flocking to Facebook. Then, statistics showed many older social networkers flocked right off again in the spring. Despite that dip, as of July 2009 usage among users…

Two new sources of data, statistics and insight into how the current economic conditions are affecting mature consumers.  First, the Pew Research Center finds that the majority of 65+ers (Silent Generation members) keep working because they want to and that older workers are happier on the job than younger workers.   However, as the AARP Economic Team notes in a July…

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…

Twitter, the current media darling, is not effective with older consumers.  Online video such as YouTube, no longer the new kid on the block, is growing its audience across all ages.  That's the bottom line from two recent reports, and useful data for marketers deciding where to invest time/money to motivate Boomers and Beyond. eMarketer shares the results of LinkedIn/Harris…

Golden Gateway Financial released some sobering news last month:  the number of older Americans who will delay retirement past age 70 has doubled, thanks to today's economic challenges.  The report also states that half of all seniors' net worth has decreased by 10 to 30 percent. The problem is that time is not on the side of older workers who are…

"It's getting awfully tricky to advertise to this audience."  So says Mark Dolliver in an AdWeek article that offers insights into how to reach 65+ consumers.  The author does a nice job of sharing and explaining recent research.  Todd Harff is among the experts he spoke to for perspective and strategies. For Sandra Timmermann, executive director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute,…

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…