Getting Connected: Older Americans Embrace Technology to Enhance Their Lives
Most Americans have embraced technology in their daily lives and those over 50 are no exception. Results of a new survey by AARP show older adults are using a variety of devices to stay informed, shop and connect with others.
Over 90% of adults over 50 own a computer or laptop, 70% have a smartphone, and over 40% own a tablet, according to a national study of 1,520 adults conducted in November. Adults 70+ are more likely to have more dated technology, such as desktops and feature phones, than those age 50-69.
Want to know what the grandkids are doing? Check on Facebook. Sure enough, across all devices, over seven in ten adults 50+ are on social media, and nine in ten (91%) of those with devices say they use technology to stay in touch with friends and family.
Different devices for different purposes
Smartphones help people be social while they are on the go. Over half of smartphone owners use a social app weekly. Texting (86%) has caught up to email (87%) as the top ways people use technology to communicate with others.
Among adults 50+, nine in ten say they use their smartphone to send instant messages, texts or emails, and over three quarters find them handy for getting directions or traffic information. They also use them for purchasing apps, surfing the internet, getting news, and accessing social media, the AARP research found.
Just how adults use technology varies by age. Adults 50-59 are more likely to do banking activities and watch video on their smartphones than those who are over 60. However, smartphone users age 60-69 are leading the way in using their phone to manage medical care (they are significantly more likely to do so than those over 70: 33% vs. 21%).
Respondents report using tablets more for entertainment and computers for practical tasks. Adults in their 50s and 60s use their computers to engage in online learning activities and posting ratings and reviews more frequently than those older. Further, Americans over 70 do fewer activities on their computers than those under 70, with a couple exceptions, including gaming (over half play games on their computer) and email.
When it comes to wearable technology (smartwatches, fitness trackers, etc.) and home assistants, just a small percentage of the 50+ market are on board. Younger adults are more likely to own a wearable than those over 70.
Wary of security and virtual reality
In spite of the reliance on technology in many realms of life, just 18% of adults 50+ are extremely or very confident in their online privacy. Four in ten (41%) are not very or not at all confident in their privacy. Those over 70 are more skeptical their information is private online than those aged 60-69, the survey finds.
Most older adults do not completely trust companies to keep their data secure. The survey discovered respondents have more confidence in banks and health care organizations and less trust toward the media, social media sites, and membership organizations.
Despite security concerns, however, the survey found many older adults don’t take proactive steps to protect themselves (although men are more likely to do so in several instances). Overall, just 58% of respondents say they use a passcode to lock their tablets and 59% use one on their smartphones. And changing passwords every few months? Just 45 percent of adults 50 and over take that security precaution.
Few older adults have used virtual reality, and many are unfamiliar with augmented reality. Most respondents had heard of virtual reality devices but few have tried them. Adults age 50-59 are the most likely to have checked out or own a virtual reality device, but adoption is still small. Over six in ten adults in the survey have never heard of augmented reality and very few have tried it -- although awareness was greater among those in their 50s.
This study was fielded from November 16-27, 2017 using GfK’s KnowledgePanel, a probability based web panel designed to be representative of the adult US population. Respondents needed to be age 50 or older to complete the survey. Completion rate was 59.9% and resulted in a total sample of 1,520. The data are weighted by age within gender, education, race/ethnicity, household income, language preferences, and Census division to reflect US adults age 50 or older. For more information contact G. Oscar Anderson at GAnderson@aarp.org.
At PSM, we provide the tools, knowledge and support to help take your business to new levels. If you have an interest on how to effectively sell online, we would love to assist you.
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The Definitive Digital Marketing Handbook for Medicare Agents
If you sell Medicare products and you have a website, this is an insightful on how to effectively market your business.
We live in a digital world. The signs of people’s ever-increasing passion for digital communications are all around us.
Digital has become woven into everyday life, yet, most Medicare Agencies don't have a sound digital marketing strategy. KERN Health’s informal polls at the Medicare Marketing & Sales Summits in Orlando and Nashville suggest that most (65%) of Medicare Agencies felt that their organizations were struggling and were unprepared to develop a digital marketing strategy.
According to Pew Research Center, 76% of older (leading-edge) Boomers (ages 60–69) use the Internet daily. Even the Silent generation (ages 70–87) now has an adoption rate of 61% who use the Internet. And when we look at the younger (trailing-edge) Boomers (ages 51–59), we see the handwriting on the wall for the future of Medicare marketing—with only 17% of this group not using the Internet daily. Furthermore, 84.9% of Boomers and Medicare beneficiaries are sharing information, talking about politics and engaging on Facebook.
And when we’re speaking about digital, more than half of what we’re speaking about is mobile. According to a 2016 Pew Research Center report, mobile now accounts for more than half of all digital advertising spending, while digital ad spending grew from $43 billion in 2013 to over $60 billion just two short years later.
Hopefully this guide will provide insight and best practices on how to make sure your website and marketing efforts are optimized in the new digital age of the senior market.
"You will never get a second chance to make a first impression." - Will Rogers
With all of the technology in this day and age, you probably wouldn’t need to be physically present to make a first impression. Go ahead - Google yourself. Did you stumble across your LinkedIn Profile as the first or second result? Me too.
All thanks to LinkedIn’s SEO efforts, this means your prospective clients are getting to know some bits and pieces prior to even shaking your hand and looking into the whites of your eyes.
Hence, it is more important than ever before that your LinkedIn Profile makes a positive first impression and a lasting one, at that. Precision Senior Marketing is here to share 4 quick tips to establishing and maintaining your digital footprint via LinkedIn. Take a peek!
1. Upload a professional headshot
Your headshot is one of the most essential elements in establishing your LinkedIn profile. In fact, your profile is 14x more likely to be viewed by simply having a profile picture in-place and will encourage viewers to peep the rest of your profile.
2. Develop a professional tagline
Ask yourself, how would you would answer the question, “What do you do for a living?”
Instead of ending the conversation quickly by responding with a mere, "I’m an independent insurance agent,” you should go more in-depth concerning what you actually do. Think of your tagline as a mission statement - something along the lines of: “Educating the senior market to make informed decisions around their healthcare needs”. It is far more intriguing.
3. Provide a summary
Start with your value proposition
Utilize the first paragraph of your LinkedIn Profile summary to provide a quick, high-level overview of the type of work you do - without all of the details. This is not the place for senior market insurance industry jargon.
Following your value proposition, you have the chance to make a real connection with your prospects by showing your human side in the second paragraph. Write your LinkedIn Profile summary as you speak rather than in third person. Reflect and ask yourself, “What do my clients and I have in common?"
Implement a call-to-action
Wrap up your LinkedIn Profile summary by making it easy for your connections to find your contact information by adding it to the closing paragraph.
For example, “If you want to learn more about how I can help you choose a healthcare plan that best suits your needs, feel free to reach out via phone at + 1 (800) 998-7715 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
4. Customize your public profile URL
Your LinkedIn Profile will be much easier to share upon customizing your Public Profile URL. Instead of a default URL with a oodles of confusing numbers at the end, customize it to something with a nice and clean look, like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/carolinekcallahan.
Customize your LinkedIn Public Profile URL by clicking the gear icon to update your public profile settings beneath your profile photo.
This will redirect you to your Public Profile page, where you may edit your URL on the left hand side.
When utilizing these basic four tips, just remember to stay within your company’s compliance guidelines when making updates to your LinkedIn Profile.
If you are an independent senior market insurance agent needing further direction upon establishing and maintaining your digital footprint via LinkedIn, feel free to give PSM's expert team of marketers a buzz at + 1 (800) 998-7715.
Sources: www.lifehealthpro.com, www.linkedin.com