Home' Australian Pharmacist : August 2011 Contents Vol. 30 -- August #08
lack of interest but because many
technologies and social networks
are not developed with older people
To show how uptake can be changed
by focusing the social media for
such a target market, look no further
than AARP (formerly the American
Association of Retired Persons).
With numerous social media profiles
on Facebook and Twitter, the AARP
provides an excellent example of how
one large organisation is reaching out
to older people who are digital savvy.
To create conversation online, the
AARP focuses on sharing relevant
news, conversation starters and
inspirational stories that are of interest
to people in their membership.
In other words, the very topics
healthcare providers such as
pharmacists could well utilise.
Smartphones are also providing great
scope for more over-65 generation-
focussed social media applications.
According to data from researchers
the Nielsen group, as many as 15%
of people aged 55 and older are using
smartphones, and now tablets are also
becoming popular with this segment
of the market.
While overall usage of mobile devices
is still small among older people, it
is growing, and in surprising ways.
Older people are gaming on their
phones. Around 13% of 55--64 year
20 'I didn't know that'
facts about social media
1. Social media spending is expected
to increase from $716 million in
2008 to $3.1 billion in 2014, which is
a compound annual growth rate of
2. 34% CAGR means social media
spending is growing faster than any
other interactive marketing category.
3. In the near-term, 86% of marketers
plan to increase social media
budgets in 2010 and 13% are
planning to keep the same level
4. Pepsi dropped TV advertising for
the 2010 Super Bowl after 23 years.
Instead they invested $20 million in
a social media campaign.
5. Comcast has at least 11 full-time
employees dedicated to
customer service and support
via social media.
6. Dell has attributed over $6.5 million
in revenue directly to Twitter.
7. 99% of online retailers plan to have
a Facebook page by 2011 and 91%
plan to have a Twitter page.
8. Social media played a major role
in 2009 holiday shopping: 28% of
US shoppers say social media has
influenced their purchases.
9. In 2009, 91% of Inc. 500 index
companies report using at least
one social media tool, compared
with 77% of companies surveyed
10. In 2009, 52% of the Inc. 500 index
used Twitter, the second most
commonly used social media
channel. It wasn't even present
11. 88% of executives at Western
nonprofit organisations are currently
experimenting with social media.
12. 168% of small businesses will
increase their social media
marketing efforts in the next year.
13. 56% of Twitter users say they use
the micro blogging site for business
or work related purposes
14. Over 40% of people have become
'friends' with a brand/company on
Facebook or MySpace.
15. 20% of tweets are about business
16. 46% of Facebook users say they
would talk about or recommend a
product on Facebook.
1 7. 44% of Twitter users have
recommended a product.
18. 58% of users said if they tweet
about a bad product or issue, they
would like the brand/company to
respond to their tweet.
19. Twitter's estimated valuation is
20. Facebook's estimated valuation is
around $10 billion.
olds and 5% of people 65 and older
play games using a smartphone or
standard mobile phone, according to
a survey by an online gaming group.
But researchers point out than even
using them as gaming devices makes
older people more familiar with their
smartphones, and thus potentially
more receptive to their use for
One of the most popular uses of
technology is searching for information
and, according to the Pew Internet
and American Life Project, four in five
internet users (59% of all US adults)
use the internet to research critical
health information. Furthermore,
baby boomers represent the fastest-
growing demographic in terms of
social media usage, with 47% of
internet users aged 50--64 now
actively using social media, according
to the AARP.
But baby boomers aren't researching
health information just for themselves.
Many are caregivers, which means
they are investigating ways that they
can help other people (their parents,
for instance) get information on
questions ranging from Medicare to
coping with Alzheimer's disease.
In fact, 16% of people aged 50--64
have searched online for information
on long term care for an elderly
or disabled person. Organisations
ranging from retailers to consumer
electronics makers are being forced
to rethink how they market and make
products for older people.
As we look to the future, we must all
start to realise that things are going
to be different and we need to pay
attention and listen. All of these are
potential markets that need to have
health information delivered to or
accessible by them on a focussed
basis. Social media is the obvious
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