Every week I have the same conversations with business owners who target affluent consumers age 55+. They tell me their clients are not on Facebook or other social networking sites. As a matter of fact, they don’t really use the Internet. Their adament response leads me to say:


  • 800 million people and none of them are your customers?
  • 97% of people with income above $75,000 use the internet daily, but none of those people are potential clients?
  • 50+% of all people who use the internet regularly visit one or more social media sites, but they don’t go there looking for you. Or do they?
  • 56% percent of consumers said they are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a fan on Facebook. But your customers don’t share recommendations because they are too old?

The image of grandma as someone who is afraid to turn on a computer or use the Internet is extremely out of date.  Today, women age 55+ represent one of the fastest growing demographics on Facebook.  And while she is catching up on old friends, checking out what her kids and grandkids are doing, she is also having conversations. She is talking about books she’s reading, trips she’s taking and services she is buying.  And she might be talking about you.

Recently a friend of mine  posted a request. Her furnace wasn’t working and she was looking for suggestions on who to call for a second estimate. Within a few minutes she had a half dozen suggestions, including one from me in which I tagged an HVAC company she could call.  The result? Before she could reach out, they did. Who do you think she bought from?

If you think none of your customers are using social networking sites. you are probably right.  Those people are your competitors’ customers.


Are you using social media as part of your marketing?  If so, we have a few questions.  Will you take five minutes to complete our social media survey? 

Data in this post is from Pew Internet’s 2011 Survey.

Editor’s note: October, 2019 – I laughed when I stumbed upon this post recenty.  This seems so obvious today, but it wasn’t back in 2012.  Many businesses believed they really didn’t need to worry about social media.  It would be fun to go back to talk to some of those firms, if they are still around to see what they think about social media today.