There is a belief system in place that seniors don’t like or use technology such as smartphones, laptops, or social media. But recent research shows that’s not the case anymore. While the over-fifty population may have been slow in adopting tech, usage is now right up there with the rest of the population.
An AARP survey of 1,520 adults, aged fifty or older, showed that more than 90% of participants own a computer. Seventy percent of that same demographic use a smartphone and forty percent own a tablet. And, in the realm of social media, seven in ten boomers are using Facebook, Twitter and similar forms of social media, especially to keep in contact with children and grandchildren. Among fifty-plus adults, nine in ten say they use their smartphone to send instant messages, texts or emails, and over three quarters find smartphones invaluable for mapping and getting directions.
With these statistics in mind, don’t hesitate to utilize the many marketing opportunities that social media, the internet and smartphones provide to reach this target demographic.
Your community’s Facebook page can be used to highlight what life is like in your community. The achievements of your residents and team members can be shared in posts. Encourage current residents to “like” and “follow” your Facebook page and build a network of new contacts. Those who follow you and their friends may share posts, touting the lifestyle being enjoyed at your community. New services and amenities, restaurants or activities should be highlighted as well. Every day, your Facebook page can work for you by sharing new information about your community to new visitors.
Twitter can allow you to give quick bursts of information when something noteworthy is happening. You can use it to start dialogues with guests who have toured the facility and might have a question or comment.
Your polished, vibrant, interesting website is the first place most potential residents and family members look when shopping for a new residence. A website is also an easy way for prospects to share information with friends and family as they go through the decision-making process. Your website is an electronic portfolio available 24-7, that can answer most questions and can be studied at the consumers leisure, allowing them time to think in an unpressured atmosphere.
Research shows that specific tone and verbiage used on your website and Facebook pages are important in speaking to older generations. Focus should be on what they can do now, not on lost abilities. Terms like senior, boomer, or older are acceptable while terms like elderly (which connotate fragility or weakness) are not. Larger fonts, simple construction and ease of use will be welcomed.
If you wanted to offer a service that is in great demand and short supply, tech classes that cover basic use of smartphones, tablets and use of the internet area great asset to an aging population. If you offered these classed to seniors who are not residents now but might well be later, you would have a valuable incentive for potential customers to visit your community.
Technology, in its’ varied applications, is, without question, the fastest and most cost-effective way to keep in contact with your senior target population.