Categorized | social marketing

Boomer women are taking over social media

Well, not yet.

There are two unexamined, persistent biases in the popular, media-driven notions of computers and social media: a.) It’s all about kids and b.) it’s all about guys. In a previous post, I examined how boomers in general were the fastest growing users in social media. And just a few days ago, Facebook announced that the number of women over 55 on the site has tripled in the last nine months — making boomer women the fastest growing population on Facebook.

What does this mean to you?

As I said in my earlier post, I’ve been a big fan of Don Potter’s The 50+ Boomer: Your Key to 76 Million Consumers, the first and most complete book about marketing to boomers. There’s only one thing you need to know about boomers: they have lots of discretionary income and they like to spend it. Current statistics show boomers, in the current downturn, are outspending all other younger consumers by more than two to one.

And here’s what you need to know about women: they account for 80% of discretionary purchases in the U.S.

Put the two together and you have a perfect consumer base that is being horribly underserved as far as marketing in general is concerned and criminally neglected in social media marketing in particular.

How do you tap into this audience?

1.) Boomer women, like boomers in general, aren’t as susceptible to ads and ham-handed pitches. They are online looking for content and connections. The way to reach boomer women through social media is to add relavent content to the online social conversation, content related to the concerns and issues boomer women are going online to connect about.
2.) Boomer women are not seniors and, like seniors, they don’t like being addressed that way. Boomers are a demographic anomaly in that they are the first generation of consumers who have not homogenized and narrowed as they’ve grown older, but in fact their interests and lifestyles have greatly widened and expanded. Boomers are the first generation to constantly explore new options and lifestyles as they’ve aged (discovering marathons in their 50’s, for instance). That’s the spirit with which to approach them.
3.) Marketing to anyone over the age of 30 always involves being aware of or addressing life passages — children, career, advancement, grandchildren, and so on. Launching a content-heavy social media campaign directed at boomer women (and men) means being aware of and sensitive to the life passages that your audience is going through. Women far more than men turn to social networking in part to connect with people undergoing similar life passages. You will not find many teenagers turning to online social groups to kvetch about graduation anxiety, but boomer women often turn to online networks to work out issues of retirement or becoming a grandparent.
4) It helps to be a boomer. Faking it is faking it and you’re addressing an audience that has more experience being faked out than you probably do. If you’re serious about reaching a certain demographic, then you should be serious about bringing in someone who’s part of that demographic and lives, breathes, and eats the same concerns, memories, hopes, and fears.

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