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3 reasons why you should turn your social media attention to baby boomers

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When millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) were teenagers, their baby boomer parents (born between 1946 and 1964) hardly understood the younger generation’s fascination with the instant messaging platform MSN and the Internet. Today, the same parents have more friends on Facebook and more Amazon shipments arriving in a week than all of their children combined.

Who are baby boomers?

Boomers make up around a third of the UK population, which makes them a strong demographic with great marketing potential. You are active and committed; they set up businesses, run marathons, follow fashion trends, and travel far.

In addition, their claim to live new experiences with comfort is reflected in the market; More and more startups are shifting the focus from millennials to aging baby boomers by targeting them with innovative and user-friendly technologies like speech recognition. An example of a startup that is opening up this age group is Stitch. With more than 50,000 members in 50 cities around the world, Stitch connects boomers so they can socialize, travel, make friends and find companions.

Even though baby boomers are living longer, healthier, and more affluent, many brands still ignore them on social media. These brands put too much emphasis on targeting millennials and too little when it comes to the older generation. According to the Total Retail Report, only 10% of the US marketing budget is devoted to boomer audiences, while 50% is used for marketing to millennials.

Data shows that boomers are active on social media, spending around an hour 48 minutes a day browsing Facebook and Instagram. They are 19% more likely to share content than any other generation and 58% more likely than Millennials to click through from a social media post to a brand’s website.

So why aren’t brands paying attention to this demographic? Here are three reasons that could make you rethink positioning boomers in your social media strategy.

1. Boomers have big purses

Baby boomers make up over 20% of the total UK population (over 14 million people) and represent one of the wealthiest generations, with one in five considered a millionaire. According to a report published in the Financial Times, boomers are estimated to have 36p for every £ 1 household wealth in the UK.

Money doesn’t matter, especially when it comes to new experiences. According to the AARP, boomers are investing in comfort while traveling and can’t resist luxury services like upgrade tours and activity packages. In the US and UK, 13% of boomer vacation planners have already booked a vacation for 2021. They are the ideal target group for brands that combine purchasing power with a desire for new life experiences. Reaching out to them on a channel like Facebook that showcases the best moments in life is an obvious step for brands looking to expand their customer base.

2. Boomers shop online

According to the Oracle CPG Shopping Data Report, Baby Boomers led online shopping growth in 2020 with usage up 5.7 times year over year compared to millennials usage (4.3 times more than last year). In addition to buying just as much online, Millennials also have more disposable income available, which means their average spend is much higher. They are more likely to spend on higher priced items like wine, appliances, housewares, and healthcare. Targeting them on social media will make a significant profit if done right.

3. Boomers are digital influencers

Brands that offer high quality products or services will capture the hearts of baby boomers and turn them into brand representatives. There are already quite a few baby boomers out there breaking stereotypes on Instagram and showing people that they can be whatever they want and dress at any age.

Instagram has seen a growing number of older women carve out a place for themselves as fashion influencers. Lyn Slater, a college professor in New York, has 750,000 followers on her Accidental Icon Instagram account. Thanks to her influence on social media, she has worked on advertising campaigns and collaborations with brands such as Valentino, Uniqlo and Mango. Other great examples of boomer insta stars include Japanese retirees Tsuyoshi and Tomi Seki, who partnered with a designer at Japanese department store Isetan Mitsuk to launch their own collection of clothing and accessories.

Baby boomers in focus

We found that brands have access to a broad social media audience with significant purchasing power, ready to open their wallets and show off their lifestyle. So how should brands target them on social media?

Baby boomers believe their glory days are still ahead of them. Hence, marketers need to fulfill these desires in order to effectively sell their services and products.

L’Oréal Paris, for example, understood its mature, affluent client by making this life’s most exciting period. Through their marketing campaigns, including social media content, they defy the idea that beauty has an expiration date and empower women of all ages to feel and be the best version of themselves. This promotes a society in which everyone likes to get older.

In addition to a strong and tailored content strategy, here are a few points to consider when targeting boomers on social media:

  1. Not a stereotype: Avoid stereotypes or outdated ideas about what this generation should do or how they should behave. Baby boomers don’t want to be portrayed older than they are. Focus on inclusive messages and pictures.

  2. Bridge the gap: Even though you are committed to technology, do your best to make them feel more comfortable – for example, by simply sharing content.

  3. Present the practicality of the product: Boomers prefer products that meet a functional need rather than an emotional one. You are a confident generation and are dying to think about brands.

  4. Use videos: 54% of boomers watch videos online, 43% name Facebook as their preferred video platform.

  5. Use influencers: Consumers enjoy being represented in their age group. There are several influencers who have built huge audiences by creating content specifically for the underrepresented population of the 50+ age group.

Boomers are the largest economic force in the population and are committed users of social media; They have big wallets, shop online, and are digital influencers. Brands should try to discard all age biases and view this demographic as a huge marketing opportunity that could generate significant returns.

Although they have a shorter potential life worth, they have a thirst for life experiences that millennials cannot compete with. Brands need to seize the opportunity to advance boomer-driven brand development and marketing campaigns and engage this wealthy generation in the conversation.

If you want to implement an integrated and agile social media marketing function, contact Capgemini Invent.

Ana Costa is a social media digital marketing consultant at Capgemini Invent.

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