Baby Boomers are changing what it means to “get old,” embracing lifestyles and new technologies that we traditionally associate with young people. This is perhaps most obvious in the rapid growth of Boomers joining social media.
Still, you’re not adopting new media at nearly the rate of Generation X and Y, and it seems largely because you simply don’t see the benefits of joining and maintaining a profile on a new platform. Here are some of the ways Baby Boomers use various social media, and some ways you could be using those tools to your benefit:
Let’s start with the most obvious. Many of you may have joined Facebook to stay connected with Gen X or Y family and friends. Almost all Boomers who use social media are on Facebook, while the portion who use other sites, like LinkedIn and Twitter, are more similar to Generation X and Y, suggesting that Baby Boomers are more interested in using social media to connect with friends and family than to build a professional network or broadcast ideas and activities.
This purely social aspect remains one of the best ways to benefit from Facebook. However, with online marketers becoming savvy to the way you use social media, you can also use the platform to connect with — and benefit from — your favorite brands. “Like” brand pages to keep up with their latest promotions and receive exclusive coupons and discount codes on their products.
Learn more about how to use Facebook in Facebook for Dummies
Because this is one of the platforms least used by Boomers, you might see little benefit to using this fast-paced, smartphone-optimized platform as most perceive it: to broadcast where you are, what you’re doing, and what you’re eating at any given moment of the day.
But once you familiarize yourself with Twitter, it’s a valuable tool for both social and professional networking. Twitter is far more valuable than Facebook or LinkedIn for connecting with people you don’t know, so it’s essential for freelancers or business owners. Use Twitter to get in front of people at any level of your industry!
That less Boomers are on LinkedIn is a little surprising, given that you’re actually better at professional networking online than the more tech-savvy Gen Y. Because many Boomers were already well on their way to retirement as social media emerged, a professional networking and job-search platform may be irrelevant to you.
However, for those looking to kickstart a new career or launch or grow your own business in place of traditional retirement, your unique professionalism can help you quickly stand out on this platform. Boomers have a better understanding of relationship building and business etiquette than your younger counterparts, and these skills translate to online networks. Boomers also tend to learn how to most strategically use a new platform before joining, so your profile won’t be wrought with the random, floundering history that you see from many younger users of the “learn-as-you-go” ilk.
If you are looking to use social networks to boost your online presence and launch or grow your own business, check out these educational tools from Socialtunities.
Though popular, Pinterest and Google+ are newer than the mainstay Facebook, and Baby Boomers are traditionally slower to jump on new trends. The generation opts to wait to learn how you might benefit before diving in because something is new and shiny.
Internet marketers are scrambling to figure out the best way to promote their brands on this visual social platform — which means they’re trying to figure out how to offer you the best value through their pins.
For now, Pinterest remains largely a tool for the consumer. According to its About page, “Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing things you love.” Use it to collect and categorize links and images to create a wish list or a collection of things you enjoy; or to help you plan a trip, an event (highly popular for weddings), an important meal (also popular for recipes), or a project like remodeling your home.
Are you using these social media platforms? Which do you prefer?