Data chart of the week: Seniors
by Josh Bernoff
This week we'll look at a group that gets less attention online, seniors. (If you're new to this weekly data chart or the Social Technographics Profile, check out the previous weekly data charts.) This chart is from Chapter 3 of Groundswell.
This chart raises an interesting question. Let's say your product is aimed at seniors -- like Flomax, or retirement communities. Obviously, your market isn't nearly as active in social applications, with less than 10% Creators and under 40% Spectators. Should you give up on the idea?
Not necessarily, but you'd better proceed with caution. Here are some situations in which approaching seniors with social technology makes sense:
- You only spend a little. Sometimes it's worth it to reach 30% of your market, especially the most active 30%. Just don't blow your whole budget on social applications.
- You tap into existing communities. Eons won't let you in until you're 49. Gather hits a more mature audience than most social networks. You can reach the social portion of your older audience more easily there, since they've done work of recruiting.
- Your audience has a strong need to connect. Cancer patients are a lot older than the average consumer. They're also strongly attracted to connecting with fellow sufferers and sharing support and information. As a result, the American Cancer Society's Cancer Survivors Network is extremely active, despite having a lot of older Americans in it.
- You make it easy. The imbalance between Spectators and Creators is especially vivid among seniors. This puts the onus on you to help them out. Seed your networks and applications with content and make it effortless to respond. Seniors are a lot more likely to participate if you make the on-ramps easy to navigate.