The Rise Of Granfluencers

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Brands across many industries and of all sizes have discovered the benefit of partnering with social media influencers. Since social media has historically been centered around teens and young adults, these influencers typically fit the same demographic.

But, as social media ages, so do its users.

Social media sites have begun to grow their user base by not targeting youngins, but by instead adding more older adults. Just look at Facebook circa 2008 vs now. Back then, it was all teens and college-age people, and now it’s the best place for a virtual family reunion.

As social media sites add more older users, granfluencers have been born.

Some older adults have also gained huge followings, earning attention from brands. “Granfluencers” are older adults that influence their audience the same way younger adults do.

Here’s what you need to know about the rise of granfluencers.

What’s a Granfluencer?

Granfluencer is a clever combination of “grand” and “influencer”. This term certainly lends itself to describing older adults that are the age of a typical grandparent. Essentially, granfluencers are older adults dominating the social media game and partnering with brands. Many sources consider elderly social media stars granfluencers, but we’ll explore the topic of older adults and social media a little more broadly.

How Granfluencers Began

Despite popular belief, social media isn’t just for young people. Older people are interested in learning new things, but most brands fail to market to them. Today’s older adults are more tech savy and enjoy using social media to share their favorites, opinions, and more. One study found that baby boomers spend 15 hours online each week and that many believe social media improves their lives.

So how did these older adults become influencers? Much the same way that younger people do. They posted content that resonated with their audience, amassed an impressive following, and garnered the attention of brands.

Take Baddie Winkle for example. This 92-year-old (YES, 92) has an astonishing 3.5 million followers on Instagram. She shares her spunky style and fun personality online and has earned sponsorships with Amazon Echo, Svedka Vodka, Aussie Hair, Fashion Nova, and more.

Why Brands Need to Leverage Granfluencers

Right now, most brands dedicate 50% of their marketing budget to millennials and only 10% to boomers. What they’re missing is that boomers have 70% of all disposable income in the U.S! Older adults don’t only spend in person, they spend more money online than younger people, around $7 billion per year. Just like younger people, older adults have the ability to influence each other’s purchasing decisions online.

Brands are beginning to catch on. Brands in many industries, from clothing, food/drink, and beyond have begun to partner up more with granfluencers. Working with granfluencers is an excellent way to offer diverse representation for your brand, and is especially important for brands whose target audience includes older adults.

The best way to reach your target market is with your target market. If you plan to sell your product or service to older adults or the elderly, you should represent them with your marketing, including social media marketing. More and more older adults are using social media, and looking toward each other for product recommendations, reviews, advice, and more. Partnering with granfluencers offers many of the same benefits as collaborating with young influencers, including a great ROI and authenticity.

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