Audiologists’ Essential Role in Interprofessional Collaboration
September 5, 2019

How to engage an older demographic on social media

Did you know that when Facebook was first created, only college students were allowed to join? However, by September of 2006, any person over the age of 13 with a valid email address was able to join. Now, Facebook users span all ages, from 13 to 107. That means that social media – whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter – isn’t just for teenagers and young adults anymore.

While new social media platforms aimed at the younger demographic continue to develop (think Snapchat or TikTok), the user demographic on platforms like Facebook and Instagram is shifting older. In fact, users over the age of 55 are the second most prominent demographic on Facebook. 41 percent of adults over the age of 65 use Facebook, and 41 percent of Internet users aged 75 and over have a social media profile. In 2015, only 19 percent of over-75 Internet users had a social media profile.

In addition to a greater number of older adults creating social media profiles, they are also using social media more actively – in some cases, even more actively than younger adults. Adults over the age of 55 now spend more time on Facebook than users aged 18-24.

Older adults are not just becoming more active on social media; they are also shopping online. In fact, 68 percent of adults over the age of 55 buy something online every month. It is projected that older people will generate half of all global urban consumption between 2015 and 2030. This isn’t surprising, considering the fact that 55-year-olds will outnumber the 5-year-olds of the world by 2020.

So, it is obvious that the older demographic is a powerful one, especially online. They are using social media more and more, even more than young adults. Plus, they are buying online. How can you take advantage of this demographic in your marketing?

First, shift your mindset regarding social media. You may have the idea that teenagers and young adults dominate social media – but as we discussed above, the numbers show that this is no longer true. Social media is a great way to access and market to the older demographic.

Of course, reaching the older demographic is key for audiologists. While you have patients of all ages, age is the strongest predictor of hearing loss among adults aged 20-69. The group aged 60-69 has the highest rate of hearing loss. While only 2 percent of adults aged 45 to 54 have disabling hearing loss, the rate increases to 8.5 percent for adults aged 55 to 64. This rate rises to nearly 25 percent for adults aged 65 to 74, and nearly 50 percent of adults 75 and older have disabling hearing loss.

Taking advantage of the older demographic online can have a huge impact on growing your audiology practice. Here are a few tips for reaching the older demographic on social media and online in general:

  • Do not use photos of older celebrities that are airbrushed to look younger. If you use photos of celebrities or regular people who are older, use them without airbrushing.
  • Do not emphasize the downsides of aging. (31 percent of older adults believe that ads are ageist.)
  • Highlight the benefits of your services. Give them a reason to choose you over your competition.
  • Focus on education-based marketing.
  • Be straightforward. Using a clear message works much better than abstract creativity with the older demographic.

The first place to start is by creating social media pages for your practice – if you haven’t already. If you would like more information about how you can effectively market online for the older demographic, we encourage you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus. We have over 20 years of experience in marketing, and we are here to help you grow your practice.

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