Baby Boomers hold more than $2.6 trillion in spending power but are often overlooked by marketers, specifically when digital campaigns are created. That’s a lot of money that brands may be leaving on the table, and a massive cohort of shoppers left feeling ignored.
When 67% of Baby Boomers own smartphones and account for 59% of digital purchases, the proof is clear that this generation is more technologically savvy than younger generations have given them credit for. So rather than allow brands and marketers to continue ignoring them, Baby Boomers have taken matters into their own hands.
That’s right; we’re now in the Age of the Granfluencer.
Baby Boomers on Social Media
If you’re still among the marketers that struggle to picture older generations with smartphones, you may be surprised to learn that 82% of online Baby Boomers have social media accounts. That’s 4.6 million people between the ages of 57 and 75 who spend time on Facebook, Instagram, and—as we discovered recently—TikTok.
Before the pandemic struck in early 2020, only 37% of those over the age of 70 used social media daily. Those older users turned to online outlets in droves to find connections during times of lockdown loneliness. The overall number of social media users hasn’t grown much, but the amount of time spent—and how that time is spent—has changed.
While only 10% of users on TikTok are between the ages of 55 and 64 and 3.5% are over the age of 65, those users are very quickly changing the demographics we’ve come to expect from the Gen Z-friendly app. Granfluencers are building audiences in the millions for a variety of industries, from fitness to gardening, and they’re just getting started.
Top Granfluencers and Industries
Some granfluencers earn up to $9,000 per sponsored post within the fashion influencer industry, including 92-year-old “baddiewinkle,” whose Instagram bio reads “Stealing Yo Man Since 1928” and boasts 3.4 million followers. While baddiewinkle is on the bold, bright, and often hilarious end of the spectrum, granfluencer “iconaccidental” with three-quarters of a million followers speaks to a different segment of Baby Boomer buyers.
The vast differences between these two specific granfluencers are proof that attempting to generalize the generation is fruitless—and likely is what has made Baby Boomers feel for years that marketers simply don’t “get” them.
Men’s fashion also brings several granfluencers to the forefront, such as “irvinrandle” with half a million followers and his hashtag, #MrStealYourGrandma. In addition, he’s managed to convey his influencer success into his own shoe brand and is considered one of the most important influencers over the age of 50.
Fashion isn’t the only industry working with granfluencers. Digital photo frame company Aura Frames said their best performing influencer post was a collaboration with “travelingblackwidow,” a 65-year-old retired guidance counselor who now posts about her many travels.
Joan MacDonald, trainwithjoan, is a 74-year-old fitfluencer with 1.1 million followers. She’s posted in support of Women’s Best and has launched her own fitness app for people of all ages. Lagetta Wayne, a 78-year-old granfluencer explores beauty tips and gardening advice on @msgrandmasgarden on TikTok.
Changing Views on Baby Boomers
Among others, Granfluencers have given us a specific insight into the Baby Boomer generation: They don’t see themselves as elderly. Consumers between the ages of 57 and 75 love fashion, cooking, gardening, and fitness, and they’re happy to share everything they’ve learned from a life well lived with their followers.
Brands like Nike, Lululemon, Fashion Nova, Amazon, and Jack in the Box have leaned into granfluencers to highlight inclusion, giving Baby Boomers that feeling of understanding and acceptance they’ve long sensed was missing from marketing for their generation.