Baby Boomers Technology -
Common Social Media Mistakes

Baby boomers technology is growing. And with more baby boomers online, it can be beneficial for the boomer entrepreneur to recognize the common mistakes that boomers make, especially using social media for business.

But before we get into the specifics of what you can learn about boomers using the social media for business, let's take a look at some data provided by the Pew Research Center that was released in August 2010, entitled Older Adults and Social Media.

We all know that boomers consists of a large number and increasingly powerful group of individuals. More and more are using the social media for their personal enjoyment and for business.

One of the main conclusions is that social networking use among those ages 50 and older nearly doubled over the past year. From 2009 to 2010 the number of social media users ages 50 and above nearly doubled from 22% to 42%. They are friending on Facebook and connecting on LinkedIn. It is becoming part of the baby boomers technology. Equally impressive is that 26% of internet users age 65 or older now use social networking sites as shown in the graph below.


As boomers take on entrepreneurial activities, we should be aware of the common mistakes that we make in Social Media Marketing.

  1. Don't assume that social media is for kids only.

    It is true that social media was easily accepted by the younger generation. It was part of their culture. But today, it is becoming part of the everyday scene for almost every individual. In fact, the Pew study showed that from 2009 to 2010 online adults ages 50-64 using social media increased by 25% and those age 65 and over using social media increased by 13%.

    So boomers, as online customers, can be reached by social media as well as other generations.

  2. Don't consider the technology anything more than a tool.

    This Section on Social Networking - Baby Boomers Technology also includes:
    For baby boomers technology can be confusing. We all have used telephones for communications in our personal and business lives. Word processors and computers entered the workforce and became part of our normal day. (I still remember the day we had desktop computers installed in our office for the first time. It was quite a shift from a physical inbox and outbox on my desk.)

    We used to call individuals to see if they could make a meeting or send out a written interoffice correspondence to arrange the meeting. Now, you just schedule it on the computer calendar and sent it out to the potential attendees.

    The phone, computer and the applications are just tools for you to use in accomplishing tasks and meeting goals for your business. Social media has become one of baby boomers technology tools.

  3. Don't treat your online network any differently that you would treat them personally.

    It is easy to sit in front of a computer and type away going in any direction you please. However, the point of conversation in business is to get people to know you, like you and trust you. Your mission is still the same even when using social media. You want to talk to your reader in the same way that you would talk to a person standing in front of you. After all, one person at a time is reading your comments and is having that direct relationship with you.

    If you find you are on Facebook and find someone posted an accomplishment, then congratulate them and engage in a conversation. The same thing goes when you are in LinkedIn or Twitter, you find a discussion that is relevant, then make a pertinent comment. Remember, your goal is to become involved.

  4. Fill in you profile completely.

    You are in business to make a profit and grow loyal clientele. Your customers see you through you profile, your postings and participation online. Start of right by filling in you profile, taking the time to develop the right wording to accurately portray your business objectives with the services and products you provide. An incomplete profile will give the impression that you may not take care of the rest of your business.

  5. Don't give up too soon.

    A reminder for baby boomers technology is that it takes more that just signing up, filling in a profile, and developing a page. It takes participation. Take the time to learn the rules, applications and techniques for each social medium. Just because you build it, doesn't mean that they will come.

    Become familiar with the tools that can be used to become engaged with others. LinkedIn has the capability to post discussion items. When others present a topic for discussion, provide a substantive comment and see if you can develop a relationship with that individual. Remember the goal: Get others to know you, like you and trust you. Just like anything else, the more time you spend learning and using social media, the easier it becomes. Baby boomers and technology can and do exist.

  6. Not sharing enough information about yourself.

    Most boomers tend to be more private that some younger generations. However, when you are online marketing your business, you cannot talk about business only. Just as the individual you meet personally, they want to know more about you. The more they get to know about you, the more at ease they are and become trusting customers.

    The key is to tell people some personal, not private, things so they will know more about you. It may be that you just love Golden Retrievers, like I do, and that sparks a common thread. Classic car restoration and fly fishing are other topics that peak my interests. In any case, no need to tell about a dysfunctional relative or things of that sort. Decide ahead of time what you will share.

    The secret of the online small talk on social media is that people like to do business with people they like.

  7. Don't set up your business and personal accounts together.

    You don't want your postings for your personal account to be seen by your business viewers. Yes, it is good to share some personal thing with business contact, but not your sister's latest surgery, or photos of everything you did on your vacation. Each social medium has a way to distinguish business and personal setups. Use them accordingly. This can be a drastic blunder in the use of baby boomers technology.

  8. Failure to develop a plan.

    Determine what you want to accomplish with social media. Recognize that results from social media takes time. Most people would probably set two (2) main goals:

    a) Build relationships and build your network. This is the core. As people begin to know you better, they will begin to like you and trust you.

    b) Turn your network into customers. You can influence them to go to your website and give you their email address to market to them.

  9. Misunderstanding how to convert contacts to customers.

    Two elements are involved. First, you must know your target customer and ensure that you have a high percentage of them in your network. You do not need 100% of your network to be target customers, since a non-target person in your network could lead you to a target customer. But your focus should be your target customer.

    The second element is that you should move your target customers in your network to your website. Talk about a sale, new products or an award you have won. Give them a reason to go to your site. You can have a free ebook or gift in exchange for their email.

No doubt about it, social medial marketing is part of baby boomers technology. Keep checking back to see how the number of boomers using social media for business increases next year.


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