As Boomers begin to enter the life stage of maximum giving, it’s probably smart to watch how AARP is communicating with its huge 37 million member constituency.

The place to begin is this case study recently presented in Direct Marketing NewsAARP Adapts Its Marketing Channels.

Apart from describing AARP’s strategies, the article draws upon data from a Pew Research study released last June, Older Americans and Internet Use, which is well-worth a read in its own right.

Pew found that 53% of Americans age 65 or older use the internet or email. But perhaps most striking is the growth in use of social networking sites by this group, with 34% of online seniors now using.

As detailed in the DM News article, AARP has revamped its YouTube (8.6 million video views) and Facebook (now with more than 1 million fans) presences, in part relying upon research indicating different perceptual factors — e.g., difficulty processing distractions, movements, on-screen clutter and scene-switching — that should be taken into account in optimizing site for aging brains.

AARP has also worked to ensure that customer service is offered via its social channels … not simply using them to push out information.

Obviously AARP is not short on resources to test alternatives and figure out the best approaches to using social media with its senior constituency. And that’s precisely why we should all be watching — and stealing — what they are doing.

AARP, the ‘skunk works’ of social networking with seniors.

Tom

 

 

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