Social Media for Seniors [and online marketing]

If you are not already using social media, I am sure you have heard of it. If you are using social media, is it just for pleasure or business? Here we will discuss social media for seniors and how it can help with an online marketing business.

WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA

“Social media pertains to websites and applications that enable users to create and share content, ideas, and other forms of expressions or to participate in social networking.”

When we think of social media, we think of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin, and YouTube as the most common means of communicating that we use day to day.

Social Media Icons

SOCIAL MEDIA STATISTICS FOR BUSINESS

The statistics for those using social media is staggering. Here are some interesting facts showing you how the popular social media apps are being used.

FACEBOOK

  • There are over 2.38 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2019.
  • 42% of marketers feel Facebook is important to their business.
  • As of May 2013, 16 million local business pages have been created compared to 8 million in June 2012.

Interesting Fact: The use of Facebook among people 65 and older in Canada is 36% and in the U.S. 32%.

TWITTER

  • There are over 326 million monthly active users as of October 2018.
  • 85% of small and medium businesses use twitter to provide customer service support.
  • 75% of B2B (business to business) market on Twitter.

Interesting Fact: In Canada 18% of Twitter users are 65 or older and in the U.S. 7%.

PINTEREST

  • 291 million people use Pinterest every month (1st quarter, 2019).
  • 90% of users
    weekly make purchasing decisions.
  • Pinterest’s Analytic Partners show $2 in profit for every $1
    spent.

Interesting Fact: Median age of users on Pinterest is 40; 81% of users are female; and percentage of users in the U.S. over 65 is 16%.

INSTAGRAM

  • 1 billion users are on Instagram monthly.
  • There are over 25 million business profiles on Instagram.
  • A whopping 80% of users follow at least one business.

Interesting Fact: 18.3 million (2%) of users are 65 and older.

LINKEDIN

  • Users have gone from 467 million in 2016 to 590 million by the end of 2018 (2 professionals join every second).
  • 30 million companies have profiles on LinkedIn.
  • Percentage of B2B leads generated from LinkedIn is 80%.

Interesting Fact: 21% of LinkedIn users are over the age of 65.

YOUTUBE

Interesting Fact: YouTube viewers over the age of 65 numbered 19.4 million in 2015.

Social Media Statistics for Seniors

SO WHAT DO THESE FIGURES TELL US?

It should tell us several things:

  • Social media is extremely important, especially for small businesses.
  • That a growing segment of social media is the 65 and older population.
  • That Facebook is leading the pack in social media with YouTube a close second.
  • While content is still extremely important, a lot of people are getting their messages across on videos (you can find a video on just about any subject imaginable).
  • Small and large businesses are using social media for advertising and marketing.
  • Social media is very much alive and doing well.

USING SOCIAL MEDIA SAFELY

Before we talk about how to use social media for business, I just want to briefly touch on using social media safely. After all, we know it is great for business but if this is your first time into social media, it is good to know a few basics:

  • Set Privacy Settings – you can control who sees what!
  • Be choosy when it comes to adding friends – if you don’t know them or have negative feelings, don’t friend or follow them.
  • Watch out for scams – Examples: chain letters or people asking for money, even if they say it is an emergency and you know them (they might not have sent the request – verify with a phone call).
  • Passwords – Use a strong one (combination of capitals, numbers and symbols). Use different passwords for different accounts even though you will be tempted to use the same one. It’s also a good idea to password protect any mobile devices if using social media.
  • Sharing – Be careful when sharing personal information; never give banking or financial information, phone numbers or vacation details on social media.
  • Be careful when opening links that look suspicious (I get these sometimes in private message on Twitter and usually don’t open them unless I know where it is coming from or someone has told me they are sending it). These links can cause or contain viruses or can hack your account.
  • Install anti-virus software to protect your computer.
  • Logging off when you are finished is a good idea.

Okay, let’s move on.

Why Use Social Media to Leverage A Business

  • Brand Awareness – become an authority in your niche
  • Define Your audience – know your demographics
  • Connect with others in your industry
  • Diversify – Don’t Put All Your “Google” Eggs in one Basket
  • Leverage from content – re purpose
  • Don’t Be A Time Waster – schedule time on social media and stay focused (it is easy to get sidetracked into personal conversations)
  • Drive Traffic
  • Use Tools to Keep You Organized – Example: Evernote and Canva.

LEARNING TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA

Because many seniors are showing a desire to learn how to use social media, there are many community programs available. Check in your area to see where some of these programs are held.  You can even attend online classes such as the one offered at George Brown College in Ontario. I am sure you will find many places in the United States that offer online classes. If you have tech savvy children and grandchildren, ask them to help you learn the basics. You are never too old to learn!

FINAL THOUGHTS 

Many seniors either cannot afford to retire or simply don’t want to and are looking for home based businesses. Our seniors today are living longer than ever. Figures in 2016 put life expectancy in Canada at 82.30 and in the U. S. at 78.69 years.

You can use Social Media for any online business, small or large. A little planning and effort can give you faster results and more bang for your buck with social media.

Social media is everywhere and is very powerful. With more than 3.196 billion people (2018) around the world using social media, if you aren’t, isn’t it time?

What are your thoughts on the older generation using Social Media, especially for part-time home businesses? I would love to hear your comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 comments on “Social Media for Seniors [and online marketing]”

  1. Henderson Reply

    Fab post with accurate analysis of social media, there are many older people around my bloc that actually earn money from home, they take losts of chances and try to depend on themselves as this is why they venture into social media to market their businesses. This claims are all very true and not just the seniors but many other people also use the social media to build their business.

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Thank you! I know that many people are using social media, very successfully, to build their business. I always think it is awesome when older people take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and aren’t complacent sitting at home and complaining but actually doing something about it.

  2. Gomer Reply

    My opinion is, social media will become more popular with the coming years and our seniors of today will be more savvy with social media platforms BUT there are certain batches or groups of seniors who are now in their 80’s, they will remain “as is” and might have hardship to adapt to this trend. My mother for example, in her 70’s , she’s having a hard time catching up with the trend with me as his most diligent teacher of technology. The good thing is, they eventually adopt after a degree of exposure and in fact, she’s now mentioning about online shopping, etc.

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Hello Gomer. I have to agree with you. Social media will continue and the seniors of today definitely are more tech savvy. Yes, there will always be that group who are quite content at not having to deal with social media (kudos to them :), but for those that want to learn, although maybe at a slower pace, there are people and organizations willing to teach. I remember my own learning curve with Twitter and my frustrations in the beginning. That’s awesome about your Mom! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Rob Reply

    I honestly did not know 32%-36% of Facebook users are seniors and I would have never guessed that amount. I think it goes to show us that social media is in fact for everyone no matter your age or the generation you grew up in. We can all use it to leverage our business opportunities. However, I do think seniors take considerably longer to adjust to new social media programs and learn how to use them compared to millennials and other adults. 

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Hi Rob. I would have to agree with you that seniors, in most cases, will take longer to adjust to the new social media programs, especially if it is all new to them. In my research, I came across a couple of videos where teens were actually teaching the seniors. In fact, one young teen has turned it into a business. Now, there’s a niche for someone who has strong social media skills!

  4. David Reply

    Nice article. You did a great job with explaining in details every point you listed in details. The importance of social media cannot be overstressed especially to business.

    It is a great avenue to market your goods and services to  a wider range of audience and i couldn’t agree with you less on about content still being extremely important for businesses but most people are also passing their message accross through videos which is a very great source of traffic on its own.

    Social media can indeed be used for any kind of business small or large with a little planing and effort. Thanks for sharing.

    David!

    • MaryAnn Reply

      You are welcome, David! Learning to use Social Media can definitely be a boost to small businesses, whether online or brick and mortar. It is a great way to let people know about your product/services.

  5. AmDetermined Reply

    Yes you are right most people believe social media is for pleasure even me, your post is informative and very helpful for opening my eye to how i can make use of these benefit for my business, i wont also end here until i thank you for the hint  you listed in your post to be protected when using social media not to fall victims of scam.

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Thank you. Unfortunately, it is a sad reality that scams are all around us and while we are all vulnerable, I think seniors more so. I am glad that you are considering using social media for your business. I am sure you will do well.

  6. Henry Reply

    Hi Mary Ann! I have enjoyed reading your post. Up to this point social media has been a pleasure for me. Just to keep in touch with friends and family.

    But you have opened my eyes to this great opportunity. I’m impressed with how many people are using social media: 3.196 billion people in 2018. It’s definitely time to use it for our business. Thank you!

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Hi Henry. Glad you got something out of the article. I’m with you – it is hard to believe that many people are engaging in social media, for one reason or another! 

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