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 Amazon.com’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.