Today’s marketers often place a great deal of 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.
The Pew Research Center has been researching and recording social media usage for more than a decade. Business News Daily studied Pew’s research to learn more about older demographics’ use of social platforms and reached out to marketing professionals to see the kind of success they’ve had in engaging with older audiences on social media.
Many of the marketers we spoke with reported that Facebook was the most useful platform for reaching an older demographic. According to Senior Living, roughly half of the 47 million seniors living in the U.S. are active Facebook users.
Jake Tully, head of the creative department at Trucking Unlimited, pointed out that many of these users prefer to share 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,” he said. “With this in mind, we try to cultivate an online presence with news stories that may bring the opinionated people out of the shadows.”
The trend towards seniors using Facebook is only likely to continue. According to The Senior List, seniors are the fastest growing user group on the social media platform today.
Andrew D’Amours, co-founder of Flytrippers, said Facebook is the best platform because it gives businesses more credibility with older audiences as they see their younger friends and relatives interacting with posts.
Some companies find success in reaching older audiences on Twitter. Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation, said her company connects with Gen Xers and baby boomers frequently, especially through relevant Twitter chats.
According to Pew, fewer internet users are on Twitter than on some other social platforms, so you might not find as much success here as you would on Facebook, depending on your audience.
Pinterest might be a good social media platform to focus on if women are part of your core buying demographic, said Laura Simis, an inbound specialist at Coalmarch Productions. Pinterest also helps connect you with communities that share interests, Simis said. This platform is entirely visual, so think about what types of photos or videos your business could post if you decide to look into Pinterest.
An important part of any marketing campaign is knowing your audience. If you’re looking to market to baby boomers or Gen X, Facebook is your best bet. However, depending on your audience, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest might be viable options as well.
If you’re looking to market specifically to seniors and other older demographics, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.