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Marketing Insight – How Do Seniors Consume Social Media

By Hank Cohen on May 17, 2016

In the past, companies that target Seniors have been hesitant to build a strong interactive presence online or to participate in social media. They are generally under the belief that most people over 60 have no interest in using the Internet or let alone social media apps like Facebook. However, they have it wrong. While older Americans have been traditionally slow to embrace new technology, today’s Seniors and are more technically savvy than ever before. Seniors are embracing life and living longer, they’re better educated, and they have more money to spend than most other demographics.

Proof Is in the Stats
Marketers have been overlooking the Senior market when it comes to social media. A 2015 Social Media Usage study released by the Pew Research Center revealed that 6 out of 10 seniors go online. They are the fastest growing group of social media users. According to Pew, social media usage among seniors has more than tripled to 35 percent from 2010 when only 11 percent were using social media. While women previously used social media more than men, both genders are almost equal in their usage.

So what are these older adults doing with social media?

  • Connecting with family and friends—40%
  • Sharing photos—30%
  • Social gaming—20%
  • Games and contests—10%

Seniors also show definite preferences when it comes to social media platforms. Over half (56 percent) of Internet users over the age of 65 are using Facebook much more than Twitter or Google+. This means over 30 percent of all seniors use this social media platform. Why? Facebook makes it easy for seniors to stay connected with their friends and family.

How are Seniors Getting Connected?
While 80 percent of seniors owned a cell phone in 2010, only 27 percent of adults aged 65 and up owned a smart phone in 2015. However, more than 68 percent use more than one tech device, such as a phone, computer or tablet.

Companies are still trying to figure out how to use social media to their benefit to reach out to the older population. Today, it is a big mistake to omit social media marketing from your mix when trying to appeal to your targeted group of seniors. Tailoring your social media marketing efforts will keep your older customers engaged and interested in your products and services.

Contact Hank Cohen at WindStar Media to learn more.

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