If you’ve been holding out because you don’t believe more mature audiences are using social media, think again. They’re not only among the fastest growing population on social media, but they’re also the biggest consumers online. If you haven’t been using social media for your business because your target audiences are baby boomers, grandparents or retirees, it may be time to rethink your strategy! Here are a couple of tips to get you going:

Facebook First

This fast-growing trend leans heavy towards Facebook: retirees are logging in just about every day to post photos of the travel they’re finally getting to take, catching up and staying in touch with friends and family members, and doing research on their next adventure. Having a presence on Facebook gives you the potential to connect with the largest community of baby boomers online.

Like the AARP Facebook Page

Many retiree-oriented online resources, like AARP, may have a corresponding Facebook Page. By liking the page, you are “opting in” to what AARP is sharing and you’ll be able to see what others who have opted in are saying about it as well. Adding your own thoughts to the conversation allows you to foster peer relationships around topics that matter to you both.

Join the PacBell Retiree Forum Facebook Group

… maybe only if you are in fact a PacBell Retiree. However, if there are groups whose affiliations are aligned with yours (personally or professionally), this is also another great place to connect. The primary difference between a Facebook Group and a Facebook Page is where most of the information comes from. In a Page, like the AARP Facebook page, the posts will come from AARP page administrators and will lean heavily towards topics and messages important to AARP. In a group environment, posts will come from the active members of the group. The topics and the message will have a wider variety and will illustrate what’s important and interesting to the members of the group.

Create a Facebook page or a group of your own

If you’re already serving this community and you know that they are using Facebook, it may serve both you and your community to have a place to communicate and share resources online. We already know they’re logging into Facebook almost every day, but they may not visit your website every day. Sharing your insights on Facebook can add visibility to your message. Each time someone sees what you’re sharing, you are not just reminding your audience of your expertise in the subject; you are also building trust and credibility around the topics that are important to you.

When your business is ready to include Social Media as a relationship building strategy with your older audiences, get started by bringing your own experience to your strategy. If you yourself belong to this age group then you are already an expert in this category – leverage that expertise to find ways to accommodate the behaviors and resources your audience may need to adopt your ideas. For those not yet privileged with this level of life experience but have an interest in connecting with this community, forge relationships by practicing active listening to what they need and being a trusted resource for those needs. Respecting where everyone is in their social continuum will help inform you of how best to serve this community online. Most importantly, remember that there are humans on the other end of your interactions – being true to your brand when sharing and exchanging information is the best way to make those connections genuine and long-lasting.