Social Media and its new following: Grandma and Grandpa

I read somewhere that social media use among senior citizens in the US has tripled. I find it astonishing, and I’m also of the belief that I come from a long line of technologically challenged people who ask me why us “kids” keep making typos with the numbers sign. Or as us “kids” refer to it, the hashtag. So it comes as quite a shock to me that these baby boomers are accounting for a decent percentage of Facebook and Twitter profiles.


We’re talking about a generation that has never in their life heard of the job position, social media manager. Heck, I have friends my age who can’t believe this is an existing and real role within a company. So is it worth it to target, for example, social media marketing campaigns towards folks who start sentences with, “When I was your age I didn’t even have a telephone”? The answer, ironically, is yes! Though it may be hard to believe, people like our sweet little grandmother are using social media for several things. I’m sure not to see how Kim Kardashian’s picture is “breaking” the internet, but Facebook and Twitter, as well as marketing techniques surrounding the two, don’t fall by the wayside with these “Silver Surfers” as they have been coined.

Older generations are on social platforms for the community. If you think about a 20 something moving to a new city or new country, looking for an expat community, they may reach out via these channels to find friends, advice about their new home or activities that interest them. Seniors are doing the same thing, using Facebook to reach out to a community of their peers with the same interests. The user friendly nature of these sites don’t hurt either.

Staying in touch. Every mother and grandmother wants to see pictures, keep in touch, hear stories and basically, not miss a moment. Facebook keeps them on the ball and in the loop, and doesn’t necessarily take a “forward thinking” individual to do so. For those of us involved in web marketing, and using these social channels to do so, we therefore cannot overlook the presence of seniors on the web. The older generation, after all, has the most spending power, and actually accounts for about 80% of all luxury spending. With about 77% of them on the web and a great portion using social media, don’t think that traditional marketing is the only thing grabbing their attention.

A large spending power and a presence on the web: this is a group of web surfers that should not be overlooked!

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