16 Sep What’s Your Boomer Social Strategy?

In today’s media the terms “Millennial” and “Social Media” seem to be mutually exclusive. Millennials do tend to be technology early adopters and the impetus behind social media innovation, but that doesn’t mean the Internet is devoid of users born before 1980. In fact, statistics show quite the opposite to be true.  A Nielsen report shows that in 2012, Baby Boomers – the generation generally considered to be un-tech-savvy – spent an average of 27 hours per week online, while the “digital native” Millennials spent just 25. Facebook’s most rapidly growing demographic is Boomer Women. And Boomers are not just looking around online, their average of $7 billion spent online annually outspends younger adults 2 to 1 on a per capita basis.

What does this mean? It means that a social strategy that neglects to target Baby Boomers is a bad social strategy. And it means that not having a social strategy because your product isn’t suited to milliennials is a huge marketing mistake. Developing a social media strategy for Boomers will help you to boost your image and appeal to a market that isn’t just active on social media, but is using it as a tool to discover and buy products.

We all know that social media is not  “one size fits all” so the messaging of your Boomer social strategy needs to differ from the messaging you may already employ to target a younger audience. Millennials and Gen-Xers may be used to brands that want to build a connection with them and foster some sort of relationship, but Baby Boomers are more likely to view social media the same way they view the web, as a tool to get what they need or want. They’re not totally emotionally detached from a brand, but Boomers tend to be a bit more resourceful and gather their information about a brand or product from more than one medium. So, by the time Boomers get to the web and social media, they are more likely to respond to facts and comparison than to a strictly emotional appeal (the kind of “hook” used for Millennials).

This doesn’t mean you need to completely abandon the emotional appeal, though. Just think about who you’re trying to communicate with. Keeping the appeal practical will help it to speak to Boomers who are looking for brands that understand their mindset. Though they may be retiring, Boomers are not the retirees of previous generations, they are still looking to reinvent their lives, remain active, pursue both new and old hobbies and enjoy their families. Show them that your brand not only understands this desire to keep an active life, but can help them realize it. On the other hand Boomers do know they’re aging, and another desire they often have when searching for products and services is convenience. Use your social media presence to prove to your potential clients that your product or service will “lighten their load” or improve their lives, and you have the makings of a successful social media strategy.

Don’t neglect your Boomer audience on social media, simply because they don’t seem as technologically savvy as the Millennials and Gen-Xers. The truth of the matter is, they’re using social media, they’re using it their own way (which generally results in more revenue for your business), and (surprise!) they’re using it more than other generations.

Do you have any Boomer Social Media Success (or not so successful) stories? Share in the comments below!

Sibet B Freides