Baby boomers have experienced some of the most impactful and dramatic movements in the history of the country. They were the first generation to attend integrated elementary schools, the youngest participants in the Women’s Liberation and feminist movement and the fighters and protesters of the Vietnam War. They were a vocal group that has pioneered for change and adapted to multiple societal shifts over the past few decades, and now they are embracing a new era — the digital age.

This generation revolutionized the right to be heard and today, the Internet and social media has offered a new platform to engage in dialogue on issues and topics that are important to them.  Although late adapters, baby boomers are one of the fastest growing demographics online and are increasingly gravitating towards social media.

In 2012, a Pew Research Study showed that 60% of people ages 50 to 64 were on social networking sites and the number of people age 65 and older had tripled to 43% over a four-year time period. With more boomers taking to the Internet, it is opening a window for brands to engage this untapped demographic.

So how can brands effectively leverage social media to break through to baby boomers?

Empowering Baby Boomers With Knowledge

Baby boomers are information seekers and many are taking to the Internet for research. As such, it is important for brands to become content creators and immerse themselves in the dialogue relevant to their product categories as a way to engage them. By creating and contributing to online forums in an effort to educate these consumers with unbiased advice, it builds trust and gives brands permission to introduce their products as solutions.

Also, it is important to keep in mind that baby boomers are smart shoppers. Rather than believing the hype of television commercials and magazine advertisements, this group takes the initiative to investigate products to ensure they are serving the purpose or providing the solution they claim.

Build A Relationship By Creating A Dialogue, Not A Monologue

Engaging baby boomers via social media is the first step, but keeping their attention takes commitment and a conscious effort to establish an authentic relationship.  It is not a one-sided conversation.  Baby boomers revolutionized the right to be heard and want to feel their presence is being acknowledged.

Being responsive to this group is essential and having a direct response program in place, across all verticals, is a key factor in building consumer loyalty.  It has been shown that the best baby boomer customers have an increased level of engagement and a direct relationship with the brands they advocate for and continuously purchase from.

Give Them Want The Want, Meet Them Where They Are

One unique characteristic of baby boomers is that they are age-defiant and have made it a mission to “keep up with the times.”  They have declared a war on age from all aspects and are not afraid of trying new things whether it is aesthetic products and procedures or health remedies and exercises.  The same goes for new technologies and the Internet so it is time for brands to acknowledge these channels as a direct line to this group and make them feel that they are included in this new wave of our society.

Neglecting this important tool of communication for baby boomers and continuing to target them with old school marketing will only create further distance between them and your brand.

Remember, times have changed and so have they.

Andrew Surwilo and Thomas Shipley are the Co-Founders of Atlantic Coast Media Group (ACMG), a world leader in multi-channel marketing for luxury skin care brands including Hydroxatone, Keranique, Miracle Skin Transformer and Luminique. ACMG’s mission is to create iconic beauty brands by developing scientifically advanced clinically tested products designed to deliver real results for its more than 10 Million customers worldwide.