Saturday, October 11, 2008

Three Quick Tips to Reach Boomer Women

The rise of social media has galvanized large media companies to change their one-way conversations with consumers into a two-way relationship where both parties contribute. It’s easy to do that with teens and Millenials, the generations who made social networking mainstream and crave any opportunity to share blog posts, photos, and videos with big brands. But how does one integrate the Web 2.0 mentality into Web sites for female Boomers, who have just as much to contribute but less experience doing so? Here are a few quick tips:

  1. Make it relevant. Boomer women, unlike younger generations, do not have dozens of profiles on various social networks. In order for female Boomers to join and participate in a community, they need a specific, engaging reason that has immediate added value. A great example of this is Good Housekeeping’s Recipebook application, in which women participate in a community based around recipe sharing and reviewing.

  1. Stick to the basics. Just as one cannot shift directly from first to fifth gear, so too, it is unadvisable to go from no Web 2.0 features to a full community suite with group-edited video blogs. It is particularly important with female Boomers not to overwhelm with a wide range of complicated functionalities. Also, be sure to name the community (and its tools) something that will be understood by the demographic, focusing on a direct call to action and devoid of tech jargon. Ladies Home Journal does a great job with their message boards, which are under the “Participate” link and entice readers with a “Join a Conversation” call to action.

  1. Keep it simple. Participation has a different connotation amongst Boomer women than the younger set. Focus on quick and easy. One tool that is popular with female Boomers is a group photo album where each user can upload a single photo to an editorially named gallery. Martha Stewart has galleries for cute cupcakes, gardens, and stamping projects, among others.

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