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Why Baby Boomers Should be Using Social Media

| March 3, 2014 | Strategic Growth

Smiling couple driving convertibleAccording to Pew Internet, over 73% of all adults online are using at least one social networking site, with 42% using more than one.

The social web is now central to the lives of the majority. Therefore, those that are choosing not to incorporate social media into their daily activities will soon realize their world is shrinking.

Baby boomers are working well into their normal retirement years and living longer. Knowing this, doesn’t it make sense to use social networking to maximize opportunities and enjoy a more abundant quality of life?

Social Media is Efficient Access to People and Information

Opting out of social media today would be like ignoring the telephone in the days before the Internet. Sure, you could still run a successful business and lead a relatively normal life, but over time you would find yourself missing out on opportunities.

To be technology agnostic used to be a badge of honor for baby boomers; but no more. In our hyperconnected, digital, and mobile world, it should go without saying that to further ignore this mainstream technology any longer is to risk irrelevancy.

Consider that most people today choose email over time-consuming telephone calls. At the very least, we use email to set up the call so that it is both efficient and effective. As many of us become more selective about granting email access, social media will be the next logical alternative for personal interactions.

Whether one is looking for information or sharing it, he or she can use social media for having a conversation with a larger community or just one person, and all from the same platform.

We Live in an Open and Digital Environment

The baby boomers concerned about living and working in an increasingly transparent environment will have to accept this new reality, because if it isn’t here now – it soon will be.

Studies by Nielsen and others show that the majority of people do not trust information from business and institutions.  This is the result of years of less than full disclosure.

It is why smart businesses now prefer their customer service to be handled out in the open on social media channels such as Twitter. The result of this is that everyone needs to learn how to use social media effectively to get what they want, businesses and buyers included.

When consumers use Twitter to get assistance, it is necessary to eliminate the drama and be specific about the desired resolution. For a generation that has been conditioned to “speak to the manager,” this may be a challenging means for getting satisfaction.

Like anything else, social media is a skill that can be learned. As a baby boomer myself, I understand the apparent obstacles for using it well. This is one reason I wrote a book that provides reliable methods for not just adopting a social media practice, but for adapting to its prevalent influences.

Fundamentally, social media is nothing new. It’s simply a more relevant means for interacting with other people to accomplish personal and business objectives.

Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business (Wiley 2013), a Social Media for Business bestseller that delivers proven methods for converting social marketing best practices into profitable outcomes. He is a marketing and business trends expert helping mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Jeff is a syndicated publisher and regular content contributor to leading business publications, with his own New Media and Small Business Marketing site ranking among the Top 100 Small Business blogs in the world. Jeff Korhan lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois.

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