A few weeks ago, I was talking to a client in the Midwest. The marketing director was looking for something fresh for social media, and I suggested a campaign for seniors. Immediately she shot it down, saying that seniors don’t get on the Web and just aren’t computer savvy. I disagreed and was happy to recite some numbers for her.

In 2012, Pew Research came out with new numbers on seniors and the Internet, and they were astonishing. Fifty-three percent of adults living in the U.S., age 65 years and older, use the Internet or email. Yes, it’s not 82% of online users in the adults 18+ category, but it is slightly more than one out of two seniors online.

To see the Pew Research on seniors and the Web, click here.

Perhaps one of the most exciting areas of the Pew Research study was that one out of every three seniors 65+ uses social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn. In 2009, just 13% of seniors used social media, but in 2012, this jumped to 34%, a 150% increase. Many seniors use social media as a way to stay in touch with friends and family. Grandparents can now see pictures of their grandchildren moments after they are taken and posted on Facebook. This is extremely gratifying for grandparents who live hundreds or even thousands of miles away from their children and grandchildren.
 
Create a ‘boom’ for seniors
Seniors don’t like a lot of hype, but you can appeal to them. For instance, if you ask a senior if they feel like they are 72, they will say, “I still picture myself as 40.” So don’t show an elderly couple; show a happy senior playing basketball with their grandchildren with a headline like, “Your eyes don’t have to act their age.”

Another appeal to seniors is discounts. I myself can’t wait to get a senior discount on golf and dining out. You can do promos in the form of coupons on Facebook for free cataract or facial aesthetic screenings.

Lastly, it’s also a good idea to promote upcoming patient educational seminars of all forms through online media.
 
Conclusions
With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, don’t forget to keep seniors in mind when you’re drafting your next Web and social marketing plan.

Written by SMM