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Updated Mar 28, 2024

How to Target Older Demographics With Social Media Marketing

Natalie Hamingson
Natalie Hamingson, Business Strategy Insider and Senior Writer

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Today’s marketers often focus on reaching Gen Z and millennials through organic and paid content on social media. But what about Gen Xers and baby boomers? If you’re trying to reach an older demographic, it might be difficult to pinpoint which social platform is best for engaging with your audience ― but don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re not on there at all. Read ahead for the best social media strategies to reach older adults, including tips for using the most popular platforms. 

6 tips for marketing to older adults

Businesses can use social media to market specifically to older demographics. Here are a few tips to maximize your efforts:

  1. Use appropriate language: Besides avoiding crude or suggestive language, use words and phrasing that a large audience will appreciate. When specifically targeting older demographics, avoid using jargon or slang that only millennials or Gen Z would understand. Instead, use simple descriptions of your products and services and clearly outline their benefits.
  2. Stay away from fear-based tactics: It’s a common trope to “scare” older adults into buying a product or service, particularly regarding their health and safety. However, older adults use digital tools and social media to remain independent and connected to loved ones. It’s no longer appropriate or relevant to use isolation to prey on older demographics. As you develop your marketing messaging, steer your language away from fear.
  3. Market on multiple channels: Don’t limit your marketing to one platform. Use multiple channels to reach as many people as possible. Older demographics typically use various channels. Some may focus on one social platform while others have a presence on many social media apps. Tailoring your message to each social channel is crucial. For example, use eye-catching images on all channels but write different marketing copy for each platform.
  4. Be clear about what you want: Do you want your target customers to sign up for an email newsletter, register for a free trial or call your business for more information? Know precisely what you want your older demographic audience to do. Your call to action is a vital part of your marketing strategy and will be essential to any campaign’s success.
  5. Don’t sleep on video: YouTube is the second-most-visited website in the world, behind Google. Videos demonstrating your product, showcasing testimonials or giving clear how-to tips will appeal to older adults searching for solutions.
  6. Don’t underestimate your audience: Some marketers incorrectly assume that other people make the buying decisions for older adults. While this is undoubtedly true in some cases, it’s also true in every demographic. Older demographics are independent and want to conduct their research. Adjust your marketing accordingly by speaking directly to them in your copy.

You can also use email marketing to reach older demographics. Gen Xers and baby boomers will likely click action buttons in email marketing messages to learn more about a product or service.

The best social media platforms to target older demographics

The Pew Research Center has researched and recorded social media usage for over a decade. We studied Pew’s research to learn more about how older demographics use social platforms and asked marketing professionals for advice about engaging with older audiences on social media.

Here’s a look at top social platforms and how best to use them to target older demographics. 


Many marketers say Facebook is the most valuable platform for reaching an older demographic. According to Senior Living, roughly half of the older adults in the U.S. are active Facebook users.

Jake Tully, former head of the creative department at Trucking Unlimited, pointed out that many older adults prefer sharing media from another source instead of posting something themselves.

“Rather than taking selfies or giving out information regarded as personal, these older users enjoy filling up their timelines sharing articles, photos and videos relating to their interests and do so quite frequently,” Tully noted. “With this in mind, we try to cultivate an online presence with news stories that may bring the opinionated people out of the shadows.”

Andrew D’Amours, co-founder of Flytrippers, agrees that Facebook is an excellent platform for targeting older adults because businesses gain more credibility with older audiences when they see younger friends and relatives interacting with posts.

The trend toward older demographics using Facebook will likely continue. Senior Living’s data shows that older adults are the fastest-growing user group on the venerable social media platform.

Did You Know?Did you know

Businesses use Facebook to connect with customers, grow their online audience, boost web traffic and improve SEO.


Kevin Huhn, a producer, writer and former consultant, said it’s not enough to know where your audience is; you should also consider the type of product you’re promoting when you choose a social channel for marketing purposes. While Facebook is a good platform for promoting personal products, LinkedIn is more successful for advertising business offers.

According to Pew, LinkedIn is most popular with 30- to 49-year-olds. Additionally, 36 percent of internet users ages 30 to 49 use LinkedIn, compared with 33 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds and 11 percent of those 65 and older.


Some companies reach older audiences successfully via X, formerly known as Twitter. Deborah Sweeney, president of MyCorporation, said her company frequently connects with Gen Xers and baby boomers, primarily through relevant X chats.

According to Pew, fewer internet users are on X than on some other social platforms, so you might not find as much success here as you would on Facebook, depending on your audience. [Check out our Twitter for Business Guide for more tips on using this platform.]


According to Laura Simis, director of marketing at Hum, Pinterest might be a good social media platform to focus on if women are part of your core buying demographic. Pinterest also helps connect you with communities that share interests. This platform is entirely visual, so consider what types of photos or videos your business could post if you decide to look into Pinterest. 

Did You Know?Did you know

Like Instagram, Pinterest incorporates hashtags to help users find relevant content.

Reaching older audiences on social media requires a multifaceted approach 

Knowing your audience is a crucial part of any marketing campaign. If you’re looking to market to baby boomers or Gen X, Facebook is your best bet. However, depending on your audience, X, LinkedIn and Pinterest might also be viable options. To reach older adults, you’ll need to target multiple platforms and use tailored language with each one. When getting older adults’ attention on social media, not putting all of your eggs in one basket is your best bet.

Stella Morrison contributed to this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

Natalie Hamingson
Natalie Hamingson, Business Strategy Insider and Senior Writer
Natalie Hamingson has spent more than 15 years researching and studying print and digital communications with a recent focus on business operations. She has hands-on experience with a range of software tools, from Salesforce to Buffer, and has also worked with data entry systems and accounting administration. Hamingson is adept at managing contact and financial data, conveying high-level concepts to a variety of clients and targeting different audiences through various mediums (email campaigns, longform writing, etc.). With a bachelor's degree from UCLA in communications studies, she excels at helping small business owners by providing counsel on website and social media content, marketing strategies, product descriptions and tools for accounting, payroll and sales.
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