With brands like Kylie Cosmetics and Fashion Nova leveraging young influencers to skyrocket to enormous valuations overnight, it can sometimes seem like the whole world of social media influence stops with millennials and Generation Z.
But even brands that appeal more to baby boomers stand to benefit from building relationships with social media influencers. Boomers, in particular, are easily reached by influencer marketing as social media adoption within this demographic climbs. Already, boomers spend more time on social media on average than millennials and this demographic still accounts for the largest economic force in the world.
The very premise of social influencer marketing — trustworthy and charismatic individuals incorporating a brand into posts — resonates with boomers who prefer word of mouth marketing.
Learning how to effectively engage with boomers through influencer marketing, however, involves a different strategy than it does for millennials and Generation Z.
Here are three tips for using influencer marketing and UGC to reach baby boomers.
Choosing the Right Influencers
While younger generations dominate Instagram, baby boomers still prefer Facebook as their go-to platform.
And unlike Instagram influencers that rely on compelling imagery, the success of Facebook influencers often hinges on compelling storytelling. Brands looking for influencer partnerships on Facebook should locate public figures or microinfluencers who have large boomer followings and then work on ways to organically incorporate product placement into posts. Since boomers spend a significant amount of time researching products, and are used to sharing brand advice with friends and family, trusted influencers that feature branded products are likely to be well received.
Brands can also work with influencers to solicit UGC or product reviews from fans and then do round-ups that reinforce engagement with followers.
Boomers are also on other platforms such as Instagram, where some of the top influencers are over the age of 50. For example, Martha Stewart has 2.1 million followers on Instagram and regularly provides fans with product recommendations that get significant engagement.
Cut to the Chase
Baby boomers want to know that a product is going to work as expected and therefore spend a lot of time researching before making a purchase.
When targeting this demographic, brands can boost engagement and conversion rates by telling influencers to earnestly discuss the benefits of a product or service at length. Boomers who are used to reading extensively about a product won’t view this abundance of information as oversharing or heavy-handed, and the more candid and relatable a influencer can be, the better.
Whereas millennial influencers often showcase products in highly choreographed scenes with little accompanying text to create an aura of aspiration, boomer influencing is more likely to resemble a Yelp or Amazon review. Incorporating text ratings and reviews into your UGC resonates best with these information-hungry individuals.
Influencers should also be prepared to link back to branded websites or include shoppable links so that boomers can further investigate what’s being offered.
Just as boomers like to learn as much as they can about a brand before making a purchase, they also like to see a product or service being used by one of their peers.
Brands can leverage UGC in numerous ways to boost loyalty and engagement rates among boomer consumers.
Brands can reach out to microinfluencers and nanoinfluencers to help expand a campaign’s reach through the strategic use of hashtags and buzzwords that can then lead to organic reaction posts from their followers.
Brands can also solicit boomers directly for UGC in post-purchase emails, an offer that many consumers could see as an opportunity to share first-hand product reviews or simply to show their appreciation for a brand, through a channel they’re very comfortable with.
Brands can also create social media contests to gather UGC from boomers. This incentivizes boomers to follow the brand and adds value in joining the brand community.
Finally, brands can deploy this UGC in future marketing campaigns, on social platforms, and in shoppable product galleries to enhance the authenticity and relatability of their marketing efforts.
With 72% of consumers saying that they consult social media before making a purchase, and 92% of consumers expressing a preference for personal testimonials, companies can’t afford to miss out on growing their footprint among boomer influencers.