SXSW 2021: Never Too Old to be Social!

by Beth Elkis

Grandma is an Influencer: Seniors on Social Media

One of the most interesting sessions that I experienced at this year’s SXSW highlighted the role our aging population is playing as influencers on social media. While we typically think of Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and other social channels leaning into much younger generations, there are plenty of seniors engaging in these platforms. And they have lots of stories to tell. 

The session was moderated by Scott Kaiser, a physician specializing in geriatric medicine, who opened up the conversation by describing how a 100-year-old patient upon leaving his office, inspires other patients to ask “What’s her secret?” He then explains that the gifts that come with a long life: joy, comfort, peace, experience and wisdom, includes the sharing of those gifts. Hence, grandma is now tweeting. 

As healthcare marketers, we market many products that are specifically designed to deal with the problems associated with aging. Yet, engaging these people through social media is often dismissed despite their growing, active presence in these channels. We need to realize that social is now part of the fabric of life, and that the old folks have caught up. And they are proud to be social!