Baby Boomers and Social Media

Posted by David Chism | Sat, Apr 16, 2011

 Baby Boomers and Social Media
Is your ser­vice busi­ness using Social Media yet? Or are you still won­der­ing if it is worth the effort to blog, post, tweet and con­nect online? Many high-end ser­vice con­trac­tors work pri­mar­i­ly for the Baby Boomer gen­er­a­tion. These con­sumers can typ­i­cal­ly afford to have their hous­es paint­ed, geot­her­mal units installed or large cus­tom kitchens remod­eled. How­ev­er, many con­trac­tors won­der if their Baby Boomer clien­tele spends much time online, espe­cial­ly on the Social Media net­works. They pose a good ques­tion, Should our com­pa­ny invest the time it takes to be online when many of our cus­tomers don’t even know how to use Social Media?  Read­ers vs. Contributors The next time you jump on a train, wait for your a flight or spend time in a sit­ting lounge, take a look around: How many peo­ple between the ages of 50 and 65 (and even old­er) are using iPhones, iPads and oth­er techie gad­gets? It often out­num­bers the younger users with expen­sive toys. My par­ents, who are in their six­ties, recent­ly pur­chased a cou­ple of Apples iTouch­es and an iPad, and I am amazed at how quick­ly they are learn­ing to use these devices. My mom even knows how to Face­time, and my dad is con­sid­er­ing toss­ing his old” Black­ber­ry for the new iPhone! And among their peers, my par­ents are not alone. I spoke recent­ly with some­one in a Baby Boomer ad agency and he gave me good insight into the cur­rent net usage trends: Boomers con­nect with the online world start­ing just as read­ers. In oth­er words, they get on Face­book and sub­scribe to blogs and read the mate­r­i­al that inter­ests them, but they typ­i­cal­ly do not spend a lot of time con­tribut­ing. The con­trib­u­tors tend to be the young gen­er­a­tion at this point. As busi­ness own­ers using Social Media, we want feed­back. We want con­trib­u­tors so that we know we are on the right track. How­ev­er, get­ting Baby Boomers to write a review, leave a com­ment or share our online infor­ma­tion may not be a real­i­ty at this stage. On an encour­ag­ing note, I spoke with a major con­trib­u­tor of’s prod­uct reviews, (in her mid 40’s) who said most of the peo­ple buy­ing from Ama­zon and leav­ing reviews are between 40 and 65. I believe this is because Ama­zon made reviews what they are today and has had long-term clients who learned how to write a review. Once they learned how easy it was, they start­ed doing it. It is just a mat­ter of time before these same peo­ple will branch out and become more active on the oth­er social” sites. Don’t be Discouraged So if the Baby Boomers read more than they con­tribute at this point, what should a con­trac­tor do? Don’t get dis­cour­aged, but embrace Social Media mar­ket­ing. The fastest grow­ing Social Media sub­group right now is the Baby Boomer audi­ence, and you have the advan­tage if you are pre­pared for them. The eas­i­er things are to use, the more you’ll see them get­ting involved, even if they do remain more read­ers than con­trib­u­tors. Hav­ing read­ers is fan­tas­tic! Hook them with your con­tent so they want to read more – keep writ­ing good blogs, cre­at­ing good posts and tweets, and upload­ing pho­tos and videos. If you have them read­ing, it will often turn into a lead and hope­ful­ly a long-term client. Final­ly, make sure your web­site is mobile-friend­ly. Make your web­site ready for the Baby Boomers and mobile users. What do you think? If you are a Boomer read­ing this, how do you use Social Media? If you don’t want to com­ment below, hmmm…maybe call me up or send me an email. Side note: many of my clients don’t com­ment on my blogs or post much because they are in that same 40 – 65 age range… but now and then they’ll men­tion to me that they read and appre­ci­at­ed a par­tic­u­lar post.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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