Infographic Friday: When Grandma Gets Social, It Pays to Pay Attention

If your mental image of a typical social media user is a teenager sharing cat photos and music videos with friends, we have two words for you: Grow up.

Turns out more and more social media users have already done just that. These days, they have gray hair, wrinkles and the skills they need to surf the web, manage their social graphs and connect with those who can help them accomplish their goals.

They also have a growing interest in cosmetic surgery. Add in the fact that those aged 65 and older represent the fastest-growing demographic in social media and have more disposable income than their younger counterparts and it’s obvious that doctors who say they eschew social media because they have “older patients” are missing out on a prime opportunity.

The key, as this infographic from the social media marketers at Wishpond suggests, is to engage with older consumers on their terms, pay attention to their needs and interests and commit to frequent interaction:

infographic, seniors, social media, cosmetic surgery

The data highlighted above takes on added significance when you consider that seniors also represent a small, but steadily growing, percentage of the cosmetic surgeries performed in the U.S. According to ASAPS, the 65+ group accounted for 8.3% of the 10.1 million procedures performed last year, an increase of 33% from five years ago.

In fact, they accounted for 24.2% of all facelifts last year, 19.9% of forehead lifts, 17.9% of blepharoplasties, 15.1% of dermabrasion treatments and 14.7% of laser skin resurfacing procedures.

Needless to say, perhaps, those numbers trailed those for the 35–50 and 51–64 groups but you don’t have to pore over a bunch of statistics to get a sense of the larger trend.

Just ask your older patients.

Doctor Takeaway

Today’s seniors are spending their time online — not on the sidelines

Like their younger peers, seniors go online to search health information, read doctor reviews and share their experiences with others. Furthermore, with millions of Baby Boomers joining their ranks every year — many of them kicking and screaming and desperate to hold on to their youth — there’s a potentially huge audience for all sorts of lifts and laser treatments. Doctors who establish a relationship with them via social media are likely to be the ones they reach out to when it’s time to pick up the phone and schedule that consult.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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