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They May Be Old, But They're Still Spending Money

Seniors are more in touch with social media and mobile devices than we give them credit for. Plus, they have plenty of money.

Everyone loves the Millennials, those age 18 to 34. They are every marketers’ dream customer, spending all the time.
What about Grandma and Grandpa? Everyone seems to ignore the old folks at home but you shouldn’t because they are on their computers and watching YouTube videos just like the younger generations.
Yes, they understand where it’s at and can do the Whip and Nae Nae with the best of them. When it comes to social media, this group is the “it crowd” – they are the fastest-growing users of social media sites. They’re ripe for targeted content marketing campaigns. Currently, there are some 39 million users over age 65 sending out tweets, plugging into Facebook news feeds and making face-to-face calls on Skype.
And dig it, they have the buying power of a lifetime behind them. Seniors have 47 times the net worth of households headed by those in the 35-and-older range. That’s more than a little ice cream money.
Not wise writing off this group. Savvy businesses swing the doors open wide. Keep in mind, seniors tend to use social media for the same reasons as younger folk – staying connected.
But these folks do have slightly different content preferences. For them, stories and images are a big yes and content-promoting services not so much. In building a plan to market to seniors, the same rules apply as for others – get involved with them, hear what they’re after and get them to regularly frequent your site.
One good way to reach seniors is through cellphones. While seniors may remember back to when town switchboards were the rage, these days they’re as delighted as anyone to use cell technology. But don’t be surprised if their phones are not the latest iPhone variety. About 77% of seniors don’t use phones that have apps, so text-on-page is all the more important. They just aren’t interested. But they do text and do have texting plans, which makes this a natural venue to reach them.
If you market to Grandma, keep a few things in mind. Don’t beat around the bush – keep your message straightforward. Seniors don’t want to play convoluted ad games. Also, ditch the slang. If it’s a word likely used by someone wearing skinny jeans, it’s probably not the best choice.
Be direct and to the point. Your message will land on willing ears. If seniors want what you’ve got they will put their hard-earned money where your message is.

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