As a social media strategist within the healthcare marketing genre, there are a few client concerns and questions that often arise during initial meetings, namely “I don’t think our demographic is on social media.” For local OB GYN’s, there is no doubt your demographic is on social media. For family physicians, it’s obvious your demographic is on social media. But when it comes to baby boomers, many healthcare providers are weary of launching social media campaigns, falsely believing that they’re senior demographic is not on Facebook.
At Quaintise, it’s our job not only to ease those fears regarding social media integrated marketing, but provide the actual numbers, visuals, and illustrated proof that this demographic is utilizing social media, and they’re doing it in a big way.
The Stats: Baby Boomers ARE on Facebook
As a budget-conscious healthcare marketer, it is my responsibility to recognize where a client’s target audience resides, where they spend their money, where they go out to eat, what their interests and hobbies are, and what they are doing online. Big data such as these any many more elements are essential to creating a successful healthcare marketing campaign.
With that said, there are still a multitude of healthcare organizations and providers out there who are afraid of integrating social media into their healthcare marketing campaigns. The greatest fear of social media usually stems from unfamiliarity with social media marketing and naivety regarding social media demographics.
- Some of the first research into baby boomer numbers on Facebook began back in 2008 and 2009, when eMarketer and Deloitte found that between those two years there was an 15% in baby boomer’s use of Facebook. In fact, back in 2009 they found that 47% of baby boomers “actively maintained” a profile on social media. Seventy-three-percent of them on Facebook.
- Between April 2009 and May 2012, social networking use among internet users ages 50 – 64 grew by 88% — from 25% to 47%. During that same time period, use among those ages 65 and older grew 100%. (PewInternet.org)
- Jump to 2011 and the Pew Internet and American Life Project reported that senior citizens were the fastest growing segment of Facebook users in the U.S.
- In April of 2012, Pew Internet reported that for the first time over half of all baby boomers and those 65 and older were using social media – 53%.
This all brings us to 2013, and baby boomer’s current use of social media. According to the most recent Pew Internet report, 77% of those aged 50 to 60 are online; and 54% of those aged 65 and older are using the Internet.
Targeting Baby Boomers on Social Media
Before you can effectively market to seniors on social media, you need to understand why they are on social media, what they’re social actions are, how they engage with friends, family and other brands.
At Quaintise, I ran some of our own research into baby boomers on Facebook. According to Facebook Advertising Audience results, there are currently 38 million individuals over the age of 50 on Facebook. Digging a bit deeper in Facebook Advertising audience numbers, we can see that over 17 million of these Facebook baby boomers consider traveling an important interest, while only about 1.7 million consider outdoor fitness activities an important interest.
- Video: In 2012, eMarketer studies revealed how important video is to baby boomers. In fact, digital video was more important than any other form of posts or status updates.
- Facts: Baby boomers want the facts. They are done caring what other people think and are less responsive to sweeping claims in marketing messaging. On social media, market with the facts and only the facts.
- Advocates: According to MediaPost Publications, baby boomers are more likely to respond immediately to emotional stimuli. If they are struck negatively by a social media campaign or photo, they will reflect a lack of interest that will linger. However, if they are intrigued or positively touched by a campaign, they are more likely to quickly become a strong brand advocate.
- Photos: Many baby boomers join social media sites to share and view family photos. Keeping in touch with the kids visually is important to them, and an important element to keep in mind when marketing to this group on Facebook.
- Support: Seeking out support from others is also a top reason for many baby boomers to join Facebook. Whether it’s looking for chronic pain or chronic illness support, or simply a group to participate in online discussions, this element of baby boomer Facebook behavior can translate into successful marketing campaigns.
Baby boomers are on social media, and Facebook is their platform of choice. Let the team at Quaintise develop a successful social media marketing campaign to target this elusive demographic.