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Silver surfers take social networks by storm

Kate Naylor - Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Recent stats say there are more silver surfers - people aged 50-64 according to the study - than ever before taking to the social network water. 60% more than last year in fact. And they're loving it.

There's no reason why not, of course. I'm coming up fifty soon and I've been involved in social network sites since they first appeared. Which leads me to an important point about marketing to older people.

If you qualify as an 'older person' you'll already know this. But if you're younger you'll probably find it hard to imagine how little you change with age... on the inside. You don't hit your 50th and suddenly turn into a grey haired, doddering type with a completely different attitude to the day before when you were a mere stripling of 49. Despite what insurers, holiday companies and so on would have you believe, there's very little if any difference. Just more grey hairs and saggy bits. 

What are the marketing implications of more silver surfers joining in the social media revolution? There aren't any. Whatever age your target market, they want to be treated the same way; we all want:

  • clear, attractive, interesting, fully-functioning websites that are easy to navigate and use
  • site content that covers all the information we need to make sensible, fully informed buying decisions
  • plain English, entertaining copy that we enjoy reading
  • honesty, transparency, trustworthiness and likeability
  • great web design
  • great products
  • great value
There's no need to try and target your offers specifically to older people. Just do the same great marketing communications job as you would for any other age group and you won't go far wrong. 

If you're into social media marketing, chill. As long as you do a good enough job of your SMM, abiding by best marketing practice, bringing creativity into play and exercising common sense and whatnot, the oldies will respond just as well as your youth segments. Trust me... I'm almost one of 'em! 
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