When you hear about social networking, what kind of user do you idealize? Young, tuned up and active on various platforms, right? This is the most common segment in the various social networks, but it is not the only one. In fact, there is an age group that has gradually invaded the internet: the so-called third age.
According to a report by Pew Research Center last year, 35% of all adults aged 65 and older said they’re on social media. That’s more than triple what was reported in 2010, when only 11% said they were social media users.
Also the online habits of this age group have changed. Nowadays, connected seniors are not content to just have an email account or spend a few minutes searching on Google. They are much more active and their top destinations on the internet are news portals, banks and social networking sites that have been accessed from their laptops and cell phones.
But it is in social networks that older users are investing more time online. Still according with the report, 11% of Facebook users were over 65 years. And the reasons that lead them to look for social networks are not very different from those of other age groups: they want to keep in touch with friends and family, make new friends, share photos, play online games and take advantage of exclusive promotions.
Despite the relevance of the figures presented, only a few companies do (good) marketing in social networks for this segment such as Feros Care which is a non-for-profit community care organisation. The reasons for joining a social network may be similar to those of the other age groups, but this is still a group of people with unique characteristics that go well beyond age. For this reason, there are some things you cannot forgot when planning the marketing strategy in social media channels
- First of all, get to know your target audience. Does the brand aim to reach the elderly or their children? Who has the purchase decision on the product may not be the same person who consumes it.
- For brands that are already present in social networks, consider new profiles for this segment. That way, you can create campaigns and content targeted to your target audience, achieving higher levels of engagement.
- In the process of creating content, take into account the recent study that indicates that this age group gives more importance to images and stories and tends to ignore promotional content.
- Older targeted websites and apps should make life easier for these users, not the other way around! Typography and letter size should be larger and more important information should be more accessible. Both websites and applications should be intuitive and should be accompanied by a short tutorial on how to use it.
Apply these good practices as soon as possible. The elderly are very interested in using new technologies, making this age group a valuable business opportunity. Is your company already betting on this audience? Tell us your experience in the comments.
Cassia Cruz is a Senior Marketing Coordinator at Feros Care specialised in social media marketing, events management and developing & implementing marketing plans. She is a passionate marketing professional with more than 6 years of experience across a variety of industries including non-for-profit, professional services, education, Agencies and entertainment