Boomers: LinkedIn to Twitter your Facebook

By Matt Neuman

Advisors Excel

Which of the following does not belong in the group?
    A. LinkedIn
    B. Facebook
    C. Twitter
    D. Baby boomers
    E. You
    F. None of the above
If you answered A, B, C or D, you’re incorrect. If you answered F, keep reading for pointers. But if you’re like most financial advisors focused on the 50-plus market (and you truthfully answered the above question with E), then it’s time to read on and get serious.

America’s 76 million boomers are connecting in the online world. For this generation, it is not about having the most “friends” on their site; rather, it’s about being connected with their family, real friends and centers of influence. The Internet has become a primary source of information for boomers. According to a popular social media blog,, 79 percent of baby boomers go online to read reviews or check out services prior to a purchase or meeting. How many times has a prospect entered your office and said, “When I was online looking, I found …"? Do you think that will become more or less common in the future?

In a recent study by the AARP, 49 percent of surveyed boomers aged 50 and over said they are very comfortable using the Internet. Twenty-seven percent participate in social networking, which is an increase from 15 percent in 2007. In two years, 9.1 million boomers began maintaining social networking sites. The key word is "maintain." These aforementioned boomers don’t just have a profile on popular social media sites; they use them, leverage and connect with them. Facebook is the most popular site.

To increase your presence in the baby boomers market, the answer is simple: social media. You need to dedicate time and resources if you want to beat the competition.

Here is a basic checklist for establishing your company's social media presence:

  • Go to google.comand search for your firm. Take note of the results, and commit to improving your online presence.
  • Establish a custom (not template) website. Delete website pieces your clients don’t care about, such as financial calculators and stock market tickers. Focus your website on a personal bio/story, upcoming events, pictures of clients and staff, and success stories on how you’ve helped other retirees.
  • Establish and maintain a Facebook profile
  • Establish and maintain a LinkedIn profile
  • Establish and maintain a Twitter account

At every chance, ensure that your website and social media profiles are easily accessible. Update your profile with relevant and credible information that is useful to your target market.

As you begin to further understand the boomer generation, don’t forget how social they are. Boomers have always lived with social networks, whether personal or online, and that trend must be recognized in your business. The social majority of your target market is communicating. Are you listening?