Antonio Brown’s posting of a Facebook Live video of Pittsburgh Steelers coach, Mike Tomlin, trash talking the New England Patriots went viral. The Steelers had just come off an 18-16 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, earning themselves a shot at the AFC Championship showdown against the Patriots. The video created controversy and led to a string of apologies. And – it posed a loaded question about social media use among seniors.
Late night talk show hosts had a heydey after Patriots coach Bill Belichick expressed his lack of concern over the video, telling a Boston radio station, “I’m not on SnapFace and all that. I don’t really get those … I’m not really too worried about what they put on InstaChat, or whatever it is.” Jimmy Fallon took Belichick’s statement to a whole new level, suggesting that he went on to say, “If Tomlin wants to come at me on Instagoogle, that’s his business. We’ll settle this on the field, not Skypee, MyFace, or TubeBook. But please follow me on Pinterest for tips on how to update your home interiors for spring!”
Admittedly, I laughed out loud. But all public ridicule aside, Belichick’s comments about “SnapFace” and “InstaChat” got me thinking seriously about the potential disconnect between social media and seniors.
Belichick is in his 60’s and is approaching 65. Join the crowd, Bill. According to Statistics Canada, 22.9% of our Canadian population is 60 and older. With seniors making up nearly one quarter of our population, the question is … if a public figure like Belichick isn’t using social media, are other seniors? And if the vast majority aren’t social media savvy, are we missing a large part of a huge demographic when we rely heavily on social media and digital marketing strategies in our campaigns?
Let’s investigate by looking at some numbers, again pulling a few basic stats from Statistics Canada. Although internet use among seniors is trending upward every year, about half still aren’t using it. Fewer than 20% have made the leap to downloaded music, and when it comes to blogging, discussion forums, uploading photos, or watching movies on the internet, seniors are sitting down to click at a dismal rate of less than 10%.
Maybe you’re wondering if our seniors are ravaging Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram? As found on eMarketer.com, sourced at Forum Research, 32% of seniors use Facebook, 30% use LinkedIn, 25% use Twitter, and 16% use Instagram.
It looks like Belichick isn’t alone.
But wait. If half aren’t using the internet, that means half are. And those social networking site usage stats are promising. Any senior accessing Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter is pretty savvy. What’s more, I’d wager that the majority of those seniors surfing the net, whether they be social networkers or just googlers, are frequent, attentive users who take their time and read everything on the page, including – you guessed it – your digital ad.
So what’s the answer when you’re looking to grab the attention of those hard-to-reach seniors? In a word – integration. When you use an integrated marketing strategy you’re betting on all the horses, not just that quick one that everyone’s talking about. You’re drawing attention from many sources, creating a consistent, multi-dimensional experience for all consumers — even one who doesn’t use the internet.
But no matter what strategies you choose, don’t bother with SnapFace or InstaChat. Like Belichick, I don’t think anyone else is really getting those either.