This is part four of a four part series on socialization for older adults and attracting baby boomers to senior centers.
From the ability to connect with people all over the globe to sharing real-time moments, news, and messages with just one click, it’s fair to say that social media has not only transformed the way we communicate. It’s transformed life as we know it. And perhaps no one is enjoying this uber-connected world more than baby boomers.According to findings from a DMN3 study, 82.3 percent of boomers belong to at least one social media site and 15.5 percent of “leading-edge boomers” spend 11+ hours a week on Facebook. Add that to the fact that they are 19 percent more likely to share content than any other generation, and you have one attentive, digitally active and highly influenced online audience. What does this mean for you and your social media marketing strategy? In one word, everything. With this new wave of digital engagement, senior centers everywhere are embracing social platforms like never before and finding new ways to keep their fans wanting more.
Here are some things to remember when starting, or simply revisiting, your social media plan.
The Simpler, the Better
Although apps like Instagram and LinkedIn are growing in popularity with boomers, Facebook still leads the pack in accounts, activity, and time spent, making it the best use of your money and efforts when it comes to growing your social media audience. So instead of dividing up your plan for several different platforms, focus on creating meaningful and sharable Facebook content that will be of value to them, and, as a result, you.
Quality Over Quantity
When it comes to social media, the timeliness, relevancy, and content displayed can make or break your reach – and that’s especially true with your senior audience. With 73 percent of people ages 50-59 using social media from mobile devices, formatting fonts and visuals so that they can be seen clearly on phones and tablets is key, and this is even more important when you consider those with less than perfect vision. So when planning posts, considering (and actually taking) the time to create more meaningful and visually appealing content will prove worth it.
Video is Still King
According to a Google study, three of every four online boomer video viewers have taken some form of action after watching. Notably, three in 10 actions taken after an online search involve a video – with 36 percent visiting a website, 31 percent forwarding a video or link, and 22 percent posting it. The takeaway here is that when done right, your content will attract and keep your social audience engaged while helping to grow it organically. Just remember that the quality of your videos is hugely important, so if you plan to create or shoot your own, things like proper lighting, clean backgrounds, clear audio and steady footage will be critical. Low on resources? No need to worry. With services like Promo, you can find plenty of options and ideas for creating professional looking videos at a more affordable price.
Dial-In and Dial Down
If there is one hard and fast rule in social media, it’s that one size - or in this case, strategy - doesn’t fit all. Boomers are continually getting savvier and more socially sophisticated, but they don’t know everything – nor do they care to. So when you’re creating content for your senior center, remember who it is you’re talking to and work to add value to your posts without confusing them. While abbreviations, pop culture slang, and multiple hashtags have a place in certain platforms, and with certain audiences, they are best left outside of your social marketing strategy.
Meaningful Content Matters
Next to video, written content is something boomers are taking the time to read and share and that’s a big deal in regards to reach. Emails are a great way to keep loyal fans and followers engaged and quality lists provide opportunities to understand them better so that you can create more targeted content. Blog posts are another useful marketing tool. From providing helpful information to featuring new services or amenities, blogs offer the real estate to better showcase your offerings, industry knowledge, and even personality, in a way that can differentiate you from your competition. What’s more, is the added traffic it can generate for your website. Win-Win!
No matter where you are in your marketing plan, just remember that the number of boomers on social media is growing by the day, so now is a better time than any to make sure you’re reaching them effectively. Whether it’s connection or education, seniors are looking for new ways to engage with you and following these tips and guidelines will help you to do just that.