Don’t miss out on opportunities to reach senior audiences online. Given this age group has 47 times the net worth of households headed by those 35 and older, engaging senior audiences could be very beneficial to your brand.
The key to success is understanding who is online and how their behaviors differ from other audiences. Seniors are more likely to use a tablet or e-reader than a smartphone. Younger, high-income, well-educated seniors are more likely to be online than seniors over the age of 75 and those with lower income and education levels.
What’s most intriguing about seniors are the ways in which they’re engaging online. Seniors tend to be more concerned than the average consumer about security, lifestyle and family relationships, and we’re seeing the same focus online. This plays out on the web in some unexpected ways.
Contrary to popular thinking, seniors are actually embracing social media in increasing numbers. They’re using Facebook to reconnect with old friends and keep up with their children and grandchildren’s interests. This is especially important to seniors with limited mobility who see social media as a “life line” to the outside world.
Here are seven tips to help you successfully engage senior audiences online:
1. Adopt a senior-centric strategy: Because seniors’ online habits are so different, a one-size-fits all strategy won’t work. Create separate social media accounts and develop targeted content based on their interests.
2. More than just the facts: When talking about your brand, go beyond features and benefits and talk about what you can do for older customers. What needs can you help meet or problems can you solve?
3. Tell a story: Talk with current customers about their experience with your brand and share their stories. Storytelling and sharing life experiences can help seniors connect with your brand in a more authentic way.
4. Meet them where they are: According to AARP, seniors are high adopters when it comes to Facebook, Yahoo and YouTube. Other studies show very low adoption levels for Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
5. A different kind of user-friendly: Make your website senior friendly by using a simple interface and be sure to include features such as audio playback. Seniors are fearful of losing their place online. Consider making your pages longer when possible so that they don’t have to click around. Also, make it very clear when a link takes them to a different site.
6. Easy on the eyes: Use a simple font style that is appropriately sized (12 to 15 points) and provide enough color contrast between your background and text. Make sure your content printer friendly; many seniors find it easier to read from a printed page than a screen.
7. Reputation matters: Help your online reputation along by encouraging user comments. Seniors seek out and take great comfort in reading comments from their virtual peers. Capturing details such as names, ages and locations will lend credibility this content.