Social Seniors

Why are brands ignoring the wealthiest and fastest growing audience on social media?

What many companies fail to realise when creating their social media strategies, is there is a group on social media that is often left to fall under the radar: the over 50s. Make no mistake, this group matters: they are both the fastest growing and wealthiest on social media.

CEO of Carve, Paul Harrison, gave the keynote speech at the Mature Marketing Association’s annual summit joining the likes of Google, the editor of Stella magazine Marianne Jones, and Karen Fraser MBE, Director of think tank Credos, to explore the over 50’s sector.

So, what are the main considerations for brand managers and organisations seeking to engage #socialseniors?

Brands are failing to follow the money

There was some fascinating research presented at the summit, with one main conclusion: mature / grey / +50’s audiences are simply not being catered for on digital / social. Carve’s own research estimated that less than 1% of social spend goes to the group with more disposable income than any other.

Few get it right

A constant theme on the day was the almost complete lack of imagery, branding and messaging that resonates with mature audiences. (Conduct an image search for the over 50’s and you’ll see what I mean). Outside of the usual suspects (Dove’s campaign for Real Beauty, for example) most brands lack the segmentations strategies and sensibility to get it right. One of the major challenges here is that agency creative departments are failing to reflect the diversity of their clients’ customers, something Creative Equals is trying to put right.

Focus on intent, not demographics

Another key theme is that one-size-doesn’t-fit-all. Google’s approach (Show up, Wise Up, Speed Up) encourages brands to focus on intent: to be active and present where and when your audience is intending to engage / buy.

Social needs to grow up

Carve was founded a couple of months after Jack Dorsey sent the very first tweet, so we’ve had a front row view for a decade of how many brands have failed to truly #getsocial. Many of the challenges are magnified when it comes to mature markets. There is little evidence of brands building a deep understanding of older audience’s social behaviours and buying habits; many brands fails to recognise the need to ‘pay to play’ through promoted targeted and content; and most brands are failing to measure what matters, the ROI of their social efforts.

The big message from me what that social needs to ‘grow up’, and adopt mature social strategies that focus on impact. The 5 x strategies can be seen in the deck I presented, below.

What is your #socialseniors strategy?

As a member of the MMA, we’re keen to drive understanding and best practice. To receive a bespoke #SocialSeniors brand strategies toolkit based on your organisation, please spend 15 seconds completing this form:

Why it’s time to take social seriously

Brand leaders, here’s how to avoid Chukking away your brand’s reputation on social.

in the

According to Mind, a UK based mental health charity – your mental wellbeing “…describes your mental state – how you are feeling and how well you can cope with day-to-day life.”


The opportunity for brands to engage new audiences Since 2007, the world has watched the gaming industry progress from a sizeable $35 billion industry.

New Field

15 + 14 =