engagement goes beyond staying in touch

June 18, 2015 · Share via Email LinkedIn

Some people believe Facebook to be land of the teenagers, but companies seeking to market to Boomers are discovering a new – and just as vibrant - side of the platform.

Since 2011, AARP has used Facebook to carry out campaigns such as "Life Reimagined," which was powered by motivational hashtags #MorningInspiration and #ThriveThursday. Whether it was tweeting out congratulatory messages to senior Oscar winners this past winter or sharing inspirational stories about Boomers in everyday life, AARP likes to connect to its target audience by applauding how they are still thriving. 

AARP owes its success on Facebook to Boomers, who are online more than you might think. A recent study by iStrategy Labs reveals that in the span of 36 months, Facebook use by those 55 and above surged by 80 percent. While it may have begun as a college network made by college students, Facebook has morphed over the past decade to become an information hub for everyone, especially Boomers.

Need more convincing? For the first time, more than half—56 percent, to be exact—of online adults aged 65 and older are on Facebook, according to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center. Of course, having an account and using that account are two separate matters.

Compared to the other major social media platforms, Facebook has the highest percentage of active usage by Boomers, according to a survey issued by GlobalWebIndex. So what are the Boomers doing online? A Google and Ipsos study reported that not only do 55 percent follow a group or organization (like AARP), but, more impressively, 40 percent post and watch videos while online. Additionally, two in five Boomers share information about causes that are important to them. And, of course, Boomers use Facebook to stay connected with their kids and grandkids as well.

Toyota's 2011 Venza commercial is still the stuff of legends among marketers who hope to reach Boomers, but has one catch: the crux of its plot was based on the idea that Boomers weren't on Facebook because they were out living real lives. It looks like Toyota will need to film an updated version because Boomers are out living life and coming home to share their adventures online, and especially, on Facebook.