Monday, May 20, 2013

Are You Talking To The Boomers on Facebook?

If not, or if you are on Facebook but not working your Facebook business page then you need to read on. If you are in the business of retirement, residential or independent living aged care services or community based care services you need to be on Facebook or you are not reaching your target audience.
In  just five years, close to 50% of the U.S. population will be 50 and older and they will        control 70% of the  country’s disposable income. Australia shares many of these characteristics. Seniors and boomers are savvy and, they are online checking you out!, Oops.. sorry you are not on Facebook talking to your consumers, well then they are checking out your competition.
Why aren’t you on Facebook talking to your consumers?
You don’t have a business Facebook page for your senior care Service or community engagement because you lack the time or you believe that it does not work. If you are one of these leaders then you should read on to see why you need to get started on Facebook now!
You Don’t Believe Facebook is a Value Proposition For Your Business
You don’t believe in Facebook or you don’t have the time or staff to waste on social pages. You justifiable say you are busy looking after the business and responding to your customers, family and staff. Day-to-day management of any aged care business is demanding and needs constant attention. With everything happening in the industry on a day-to-day basis you just don’t have the time or the staff to deal with Facebook.
Consider Revising Your Position.
The Boomers represent 20% of ALL online traffic and are spending almost 100 hours a month online.
Between 2008 and 2010, social networking increased nearly six fold among seniors, from 4.7% to 28%. eMarketer forecasts social network penetration will rise to 36% by the end of 2013.
Plus - a whopping 72% of Online Baby Boomers visited Facebook in the last month. This represented almost a fifth of all page views. If you aren’t marketing to these groups you are missing out on a big opportunity. Source: Nielsen Online Ratings
Not sure if Facebook really works?
There is no doubt that younger generations are the first to adopt new technologies and platforms like Facebook, but once they go mainstream, it is the Boomers' adoption that is driving the real growth of technology. The Boomers have always embraced science and technology and are using today's Internet-linked products to enrich their lives by staying connected, socializing, shopping, entertaining themselves and researching information on topics of interest.
While boomers and seniors are slower to adopt the new technologies, once they are mainstream, it's the Boomers that buy in. Internet penetration will increase steadily as more tech-savvy boomers become seniors. By 2015, eMarketer forecasts, there will be over 26 million senior Internet users in the US alone. Overall, 60% of seniors (those aged over 65 years old) are online now, that's more than 20 million Americans, according to Forrester.
According to the (ABS) in 2009, nearly half (47%) of Australian older persons used a computer at any location in the previous 12 months, compared to less than one in three (29%) in 2003. These Australian statistics track in the same direction as the US and indicate that use of Internet to meet the needs of the older person is growing faster than any other age group.

The report shows that 49% of digital seniors in the US are using Facebook. It also shows that:
- 91% of online seniors use email
- 59% have purchased products online in past three months
- 46% send/receive photos by email
- 44% play solo games online
- 24% sign up for coupons/freebies
Your target audience is using Facebook, but more important is the fact that the family members of your target audience are using Facebook and other social platforms in much bigger percentages than ever before. These people are using Facebook and other social media platforms to interact and learn about the care or service you are providing their parents or grandparents. They want to see what you organisation or company is like. They want to know how well you communicate with them and what information and resources you provide to support them in their decisions. In order for you to build a relationship with them you need to open the communication channels and allow them to see your organisation and reach out for more information as and when they need it, often in times of urgency.  
Are you open and sharing with your Facebook page? 
If you are providing meaningful,  two way communication half of your sell is done for you by the time your service is needed. Your social media strategy is your most valuable and affordable marketing tool. It's not good enough to simply put up a page and post snippets and pictures to it. One way communication does not tell your future or current audience and staff that you are open and transparent.
Two way communication is the key to a successful online strategy.
Very few organisations are engaging in two way communication and doing it well. Those that are doing it are proud of how many likes they have, they are disciplined about posting to the site regularly and they respond to staff and consumer comments quickly.
The more the family members that engage in your Facebook posts the more people will see it. That is what happens to your information or “posts” on Facebook. The more interaction you have on your page, the more people like your page, the more people see it. It just keeps on growing and growing. For example, if you have 1000 Facebook business page likes, friends of theirs see your posts, and friends of their friends also see your posts, and friends of friends of friends see your posts! Wow! That may equal 100’s of thousands of views! No paid advertising campaign can get you that many views.
Your Competition Is on Facebook – And, while only a few are providing two way communication right now, it is only a matter of time before the others catch on.
So the big question is – Is your service on Facebook and positioned to compete?

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