Posted in on September 9, 2009

The Face(book) in the Mirror is Getting Older

Part 3 of a series on marketing to Baby Boomers and beyond through social networking.


First, the headlines touted how Baby Boomers (especially women) were flocking to Facebook. Then, statistics showed many older social networkers flocked right off again in the spring. Despite that dip, as of July 2009 usage among users over 55 reached all time highs. And 90% of those over 65 years old who are active in social networks prefer Facebook.

So, is Facebook worth the investment of time and marketing budget for companies trying to motivate the mature consumer?

facebookTrendsJuly09.InsideFacebookIn April/May, Inside Facebook offered four theories why Facebook usage dropped among 55+ Baby Boomers and beyond.  Reason #1: Boomers – who often join Facebook after an invitation from their children – aren’t sure of the value of this social network just yet.

This is the challenge for brands serving active adults: how to use Facebook and other social media in a way that is relevant to mature internet users.

Marketers can gain insight from what works with older generations offline.

• Don’t waste their time – Remember that 40+ Gen Xers spend most of their days at work. Boomers are time-pressed, balancing work, leisure and often caring for older parents. Silent Generation members want to be sure that something is relevant before they make space in their busy lives.

• Share content that adds value. Per Burst Media, news, product information and health are what Boomers and Seniors are seeking online.

• Make it a two-way conversation. Facebook makes it easy for dialog, if companies are sincere. Whether in person or online, older consumers want a relationship, not blatant sales pitches.

What do you think? Please share examples of companies that have driven sales with seniors or Baby Boomers through Facebook.

– Part 2, Twitter and the Mature Market

– Later in this series, “silver surfers” and LinkedIn and Boomer-targeted social networking sites

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