Why bother boomers with social media marketing?
Recently, I was in a meeting where a prospective client said that social media marketing wasn’t relevant to their business. Their reasoning was valid. This particular client’s target audience was baby boomers—the generation who spent two-thirds of their lives without the internet. This generation is perceived to be barely affected by social media. After all, they’re not really on it all the time like “kids these days,” right? So what’s the point of social media marketing for a business who is never going to see these ads?
“Social media marketing doesn’t apply to my audience.”
To start with, this perception is completely misguided. Saying that baby boomers aren’t on social media just isn’t true. In fact, a Colorado University study shows baby boomers spend 27 hours online per week. This statistic is two hours more than users 16 – 34. (Maybe retirees are filling their job-less hours with internet surfing?)
It might come to no surprise to anyone with a mom that the prime social platform for baby boomers is Facebook. And, with the purchase of Instagram by Facebook a few years ago, we will likely see the generation move on to other platforms in time. The truth is, it’s really hard to tell where social media will be in five years. But it’s unlikely that the baby boomers will be completely off it.
Building your brand for the future
However, boomers aren’t the real topic here. It’s individual brands. Even if you feel your company doesn’t need to be targeting one generation, you shouldn’t completely disregard the next. While boomers and Gen-Xers hold most of the cash now, it won’t stay that way for long. Those annoying Millennials are eventually going to step up to the plate. We’re more widely educated and Internet-savvy. What’s more—millennials like social media.
Building your brand an online presence—including social media—is so important. Internet users are more likely to have trust in a brand that they can connect with on social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are avenues to make your brand more relatable. If a user sees that you respond to reviews on your Facebook, they’re more likely to buy. A social profile is like putting a face to a name (get it?).
Through social media marketing, you’re paving the way for future success. When Millennials and the generation after (Gen Z??) do come into full fruition, having a good online presence will prepare you to receive them. If millennials feel foreign to you, consider social media as knowing how to speak their language. In a lot of ways, you are. Don’t take the risk of not having the groundwork laid down now. If you start building and gaining Facebook “likes” now, you’ll avoid seeming awkward in 5 years with only 52 followers.
If you’re still not convinced about social media marketing, consider the following. Even if you’re not directly driving sales through social media marketing, it’s still a useful tool for SEO. Users that interact with your social media are more likely to have visited your website, or visit your site in the near future. Anytime you can drive traffic to your site will help with your search rankings. So, if you are trying to appeal to Baby Boomers, remember that they love to Google things. And, they’re probably going to click on the first thing they see. And, that could be you.