September 7 is Grandparents Day. Cards and calls have always been the traditional ways to communicate on such holidays. But more and more, seniors prefer the convenience and immediacy provided by today’s technology and social media platforms.
The 55 to 64 age group is the fastest-growing demographic on Twitter. Those age 45 to 54 make up the fastest-growing segment on Facebook and Google+. Seniors are also the fastest-growing segment of smartphone owners.
An exceptionally large demographic group, baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are called “the pig in the python” by economists who use that image to describe how such a large group moving through society triggers change. As this group ages, it is altering our understanding of how those defined as “seniors” interact with technology and use social media.
The impact on businesses marketing or selling online can’t be ignored. These seniors are a significant group in both numbers and economic means. Many younger boomers and their older leading edge are still in the workforce and use computers in their jobs everyday. At home, they use portable devices to access social media. They are online keeping in close touch with family far away and rekindling relationships with long-ago friends.
Google commissioned a research study recently and found that boomers/seniors spend more time on the Internet each week than watching TV. While 65% of the general population likes to watch online videos, 54% of boomers/seniors do too. Social media channels are used regularly by 59% of seniors, who seem to have a particular affinity for Facebook.
When Grandparents Day rolls around September 7, many seniors won’t be picking up the phone to talk with the grandkids. They’ll be communicating with the kids and sending photos through social media, or using Face Time on their iPhone.
Now more than ever, it’s time to take a closer look at the senior market.