Fenina Gerero

How to Effectively Reach Adult and Senior Audiences in Social Media

“Hey apo, I added you on Facebook, accept my friend request!” 

Ever heard this from your grandparents? You’re just left there feeling awkward, because your traditional, boomer, and off-trend grandpa and grandma are breaking into your online life. LOL

Well not all people would feel embarrassed, in fact online businesses that adapt a digital-first approach would be quite happy our senior members of the community are becoming part of social media. During the pandemic and after, there’s been a significant number of seniors who spend their time scrolling through the internet too! This enhances the market comprising 50 years old and above online as a potential pool for increase in sales, subscription of services, and overall business growth.

Read below and we’ll let you know how older adults use the internet and how you can use such data to improve your marketing strategies.

Digital Seniors: What does this mean for marketers?

Digital seniors refer to a population of elder generations, mostly half of adults 65 and older of the current generation, on social media and other online platforms. After being conditioned to quarantine and mandated to stay at home for their health, the pandemic has expanded the audiences of older people being more comfortable being online.

This wave of seniors going into the internet is now becoming a trend and is bound to create dynamic changes in how services are procured and provided to elderly consumers. Why? Because the older the audience is, the bigger the spending power. Therefore, businesses today are racing to take the growing senior audience on the internet to their advantage.

But there’s a catch. Despite a considerable number of adults and seniors becoming netizens, a business that caters to these demographics misses out on reaching them online despite exhausting media buying strategies, social media advertising, and influencer marketing.

To give you an idea, check these sample audience matrices from Facebook depicting three different businesses that cannot convert their online strategies to reach digital seniors and convince them to become loyal customers.

These data on audience demographics came from a healthcare related business
These data on audience demographics came from a shopping mall
These data on audience demographics came from a restaurant.

One specific miss by business owners or amateur social media managers is they often concentrate on targeting the demographics more than the psychographics. Social media contents are often boosted and aligned to target digital seniors by their location, age, and social status which are purely demographic. But psychographically, digital seniors are targeted by their interests, their daily activities, their likes and dislikes, and their characteristics.

Digital Seniors and their Characteristics

Now that seniors are starting to turn to social media, let’s try to understand- why?

Most younger generations assume that older adults won’t be able to catch up with technology but the truth is a significant number of digital seniors are fully capable of surfing the internet and going online without any help. It just takes a little guidance and a quick tutorial!

Studies have shown that going online has improved digital seniors’ mental health primarily because they found a new and easier means of communicating with their loved ones, especially their grandchildren. Diminishing their loneliness and providing them with countless choices for entertainment. 

Most digital seniors concentrate on online streaming platforms, online games and online services that provide them with convenience too! That said, it’s safe to say that seniors primarily use the internet for the purpose of entertainment and convenience,

  • Senior Marketing in the Digital World: What Works?

Now that you’ve learned a little background on the senior audience online let’s talk about the digital marketing strategies that can help you attract them. We’ve listed points below that you should take note of.

  • Senior Marketing is More Than Just Influencer Marketing

Since the assumption that most seniors are unwilling to catch up with technology exists, most digital marketers tend to stick with influencer marketing. Though yes, it works. It doesn’t cater to the existing digital seniors online. If your ad presents itself to the target audience that’s right there but doesn’t speak directly to them, then it’s unlikely for them to be enticed by it. That said, as digital marketers, it’s our role to cater to them and make them feel like we’re talking to them too. To reach those digital seniors, you can always use dark posts with specified age demographics.

  • Traditionally, seniors are more loyal

Seniors will likely keep you as their digital go-to, provided you stay consistent with keeping them satisfied. Once you gain their trust, they’re less likely to explore other brands. You can also add perks for loyal customers to keep them happy too. However, these strategies may not be as enticing to younger generations, who are well aware that there are bound to be other options out there with a bit of exploring.

  • Generational Values

Marketers should be well aware of the varying values depending on each generation. For instance, some content like memes are for Gen Z and Millennials’ humor, But they won’t be effective for the boomers and the older generations. The same applies to pop culture references. So be sure that when you come out with digital marketing content, the senior audience will be able to relate to and agree to it. You can’t expect seniors to engage in a range they’re uncomfortable or unfamiliar with; as you should know, resonating with your audience is also part of building their trust and relationship with your brand.

  • Seniors Spending Power and Product Promotion

Part of knowing your audience is by understanding their class and spending power. The majority of seniors usually have high spending power. So be sure you know which products best suit your audience and align with their values and needs. Some digital marketers make common mistakes where they’re so focused on marketing products they overlook whether their customers want it.

  • Angling on Convenience

When it comes to digital seniors, it’s always best to highlight ease and convenience. Being hassled is difficult enough, and, likely, older audiences wouldn’t have the patience. Seniors are more likely to engage or be enticed when they’re easier to do. So if you have the means to make your purchasing process easier for seniors, do it by all means. Or you can angle on perks too.

  • Education Process

Some seniors may find having to keep adjusting to continuously advancing technology. It can be very frustrating, so making things easier for them is part of your job. One way to do this is to give them the guidance they need. If you need to, be kind enough to provide them with a tutorial on purchasing the product you are marketing. It’s been proven that people find it easier when they’re directly told what to do instead of being oblivious. This way, the seniors don’t have to worry about what to do next.

Notable Digital Marketing Approaches for Seniors

Today, new ideas and strategies continue to brew as more digital seniors go online.

  • Taobao’s Senior Mode

Taobao is an online shopping platform owned and operated by Alibaba Group. After careful consideration of the older audience using their app and website. They launched a “Senior Mode” webpage format. It features larger letter sizes and voice search to help improve seniors’ experience.

  • HKTV App Designed for Seniors

HKTV, on the other hand, is a Hong Kong-based online shopping service that started offering apps designed for the elderly who are not used to making online purchases.

These easy-to-use versions of leading e-commerce websites and applications in Asia are expected to penetrate more senior audiences. Today, other online-shopping websites are inspired by Taobao and HKTV and are starting to think of more ways to be able to make seniors’ experiences smoother.

  • Representation in Graphic Materials

One way to show inclusivity regardless of age in social media content is having images of seniors represented on even a regular posting. A product feature or service promotion doesn’t always have to include younger or middle aged graphic models- the elderly can well represent the target market.

The examples above show representation on the most normal topics. First social media post is about online payments which seniors are also capable of doing. The next posting is about friendship which is a general experience for any age.

  • Bank on Significant Events for the Elderly

Holidays are hot spots for promos and special offers, which extends to our elderly audience such as Grandparents Day, Active Aging Week, Palliative Care Month, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and more. 

These significant events, if strategically planned, would be good opportunities to reach out to digital seniors and convert their social media interactions and clicks to actual sale and jumpstart loyalty.

Digital seniors are also hooked on good deals the same way in real life. Moreover, publishing content that celebrates relevant happenings to digital seniors adds a humanistic approach and converts the social media experience to a social one.

Digital Seniors are Important in Social Media

Keep in mind how digital seniors are a growing community in social media. Including them in social media planning is best, especially if you are targeting audience growth and sales growth for your business online. 

A sense of compassion and creativity in social media strategies goes a long way! If we observe and analyze what the elderly hate and love in social media, what gives them comfort and efficiency in browsing and learning about your business, and what further service you can provide like “senior mode” on their transaction or recognizing them as valuable customers; as digital marketers, we have to apply these and those discussed to various platforms. Let’s help our seniors have a more pleasant digital-first experience.

If you need help where to start on the digital-first approach on targeting specific markets or grow your business online, https://digital.emergelocal.com/get-proposal/!

Digital-First Is The New Rule