Social Media for Silver Surfers

Social Media for Silver Surfers

By Sadie on September 19, 2011

Social Media for Silver Surfers

You may think that the older generation are not web savvy but recent statistics show that silver surfers are frequently using social media platforms, especially facebook and you tube. Social Media is a reletively new innovation in the web, although has a captive audience from all ages.

Although the majority of internet and social media users are between the ages of 18 and 25 there are still many users online regularly and the most interesting demographic is the pensioners, with 55% of pensioners having an active Facebook account and many men in their 60’s are regularly logging onto You Tube to watch videos.

Jon Priestley, of PR and Social Media agency Umpf, said:

“Our research clearly shows how endemic social media use is in the UK, with clear adoption of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter amongst all age groups. With more than half of all over 65s using Facebook regularly, social media is clearly no longer the preserve of the tech-savvy under 30s.


“The social media landscape is changing rapidly and gender divides are starting to become apparent, with men clearly favouring YouTube and LinkedIn, but women opting to use Facebook as their chosen medium of communication.


“Our research clearly shows how geography is playing a key role in social media adoption, with distinct geographical areas beginning to favour different social media platforms to communicate with their networks.”

By understanding how social media is being used by different audiences you can use this to your advantage in a social media campaign. The first rule of a social media campaign is find out where the conversations are and engage – although this is becoming cliched it is still valid and important. Quite simply if your target audience is using You Tube then you need to be present on You Tube. Of course a good campaign will use more than one platform and will build relationships but as a starting point you need to make sure you are in the right place.

pensioner using social media


Facebook is the biggest player in social media and has become a regular login for people of all ages updating statuses with the latest news, satirical comments or just what they eat that day. Facebook is a great way of sharing photographs and staying connected and is open for the over 13 year olds to connect and share and have a social life from their home, office or mobile phone. With many over 60’s regularly logging onto facebook this is an ideal opportunity to get their attention.

Of course, pensioners who are using Facebook on a weekly or daily basis will not respond well to in your face contact, the key with social media is to offer something that makes you appealing. This can be done by using advice, competitions, and other methods that will make your brand more appealing and win favour through Facebook ‘likes’ or sharing.

Facebook advertising / sponsored links or PPC can be very profitable as they use the information from peoples profiles so you can target the correct demographic down to age, relationship and even city and likes if you want. This means the quality of the clicks are quite high and you can get a better conversion rate. Click through rates are often much lower on Facebook PPC than search engine PPC but the number of impressions, if you have the right ad and context, can really expose your brand to the right people.

You Tube

YouTube has become very popular over the years with the silver surfers and over 60’s as videos that started off being shared by email as jokes and popping up in the search engine results have exposed the site to people and become a first port of call to find advice videos, funny videos, or just pass some time online. Many pensioners have become fans of You Tubes fun nature and easy search functions especially older men who have proven to spend more time on YouTube than other social media platforms.

So what does this mean for the advertisers? Well, firstly advice videos for your subject, product or service are a great way to get a presence online. Correctly optimise your videos to include relevant search terms and before you know it people who are interested will be stumbling on your brand and finding your site. You can also include links and information about your brand on channels or on the individual video pages.

Funny videos are very good at attracting attention and comments and as long as it isn’t harmful to your brand there is no reason why you cannot publish an amusing video, it could be an office spoof, an industry joke or just something that if done sensibly could get a few laughs without distracting from your companies professionalism. Many companies can create videos that with a little help can go viral.

YouTube advertising is a great way of pushing a video on your channel, you can pay per view and add different campaigns with ads that will appeal based on market research of particular keywords. You can also include overlay links on your video to encourage people to click back to your website.

Silver Surfers on Other Social Media

Facebook and YouTube are the biggest players for the over 60’s, however, don’t forget about other forms of social media such as LinkedIn, Flickr and Twitter. The older generation is as a whole a lot more web savvy than people give them credit for and there are a whole host of GrandMommy Bloggers and pensioners advising on blogs and forums, checking review sites before booking holidays or services.

The experienced older generation is less inclined to be fooled by the old marketing tricks that have been around for years but the best thing about social media is its honesty and transparency, therefore, allowing you a direct line to your target audience. But be warned if you aren’t honest on social media then you will get found out and the stereotype of a silly old woman or doddery granddad is not representative of the UK’s pensioners today and the worst thing you can do is patronise or underestimate your audience. Many over 60’s are computer literate, intelligent, experienced and some are the few in this economy with money to invest.

Good luck with your social media campaigns and for help setting up or social media management we are always around to help.


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