Most marketing folks have heard from clients at some point – “I don’t think my customer is on Facebook.” Now, sometimes this is certainly true, and we will be the first folks to tell you that you shouldn’t “do Facebook” just because everyone else is – you know, that whole “if your friends jumped off a bridge” principle. We’re much more likely to preach you the gospel of strategizing an integrated campaign than throw some social media buzzwords at you.
But just because a platform is trendy doesn’t mean your target audience isn’t there. To continue your mother’s analogy, if your customer jumps off a bridge, it’s a good idea to go see what’s down there. And research is showing that more and more people that you wouldn’t typical expect – like the over 55 crowd – are on Facebook. And they aren’t just there to look at pictures of their grandkids; they are engaging with brands.
This is a pretty recent development – as of April, the percentage of 55+ Facebook users who have “liked” brands on Facebook had almost doubled in the past six months. Match that up with another study that says the fastest growing demographic for Facebook is those over 50, and it’s clear that Facebook isn’t just for whippersnappers anymore.
What does that mean for brands? Well, first of all, you can’t assume your target audience isn’t into social networking anymore, because research shows that nearly everyone is. But beyond that, with the reach of who your Facebook efforts can touch increasing rapidly, it’s important to tailor what your page offers to what your audience wants. While younger folks may want interactive apps and lots of discounts and perks, older and more affluent social media users are more interested in keeping informed about companies they are loyal to.
No matter how well you know your target audience, they can always surprise you. Technology has made it easier and faster than ever for folks to adopt and acclimate to different media, so what was true six months ago could be obsolete now. Instead of making assumptions about your customer, keep up with them. That way, when they jump off that bridge, you are there waiting for them.