I’ve been in a lot of meetings lately where the potential client/colleague/friend of mine says something like, “I’m doing outreach. But you know, our audience is in upper management and they’re older. I can’t reach them on social networks.” I think I heard that three or four times last week.
Every time I hear that, I cringe just a little. There’s this stereotype that social media users are all gum chewing, 20-year -olds. I know that isn’t true. And according to an article I read today, 32% of users are over 45. That isn’t everyone. But it’s a pretty good percentage. Don’t believe me? Check out AARP’s Facebook page. The baby boomers may be getting older (like the rest of us), but they certainly seem to be keeping up with the times. There’s a great article about that generation’s place in the digital age on mashable.com.
Look, there are a wide variety of networks out there. Think of the differences between Spotify, LinkedIn and Pinterest. These sites are geared to different age groups and cultures. For those whose job it is to be experts and leaders in their field, wouldn’t it make sense for them to be connected in some way? In associations, chambers of commerce, community forums, etc.
My point is that I think assuming that the more “seasoned executives” are not engaged online is a little bit insulting. The baby boomers are redefining what it means to get older, and I think it’s time we give them a little more credit.