Facebook may have started as the province of the young, but it appeals to all types now, including Baby Boomers. So much so that one company is using the social media network to appeal to that demographic.
Elations, which markets glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, is set to undertake a social media campaign to reach Boomers by appealing to their sense of volunteerism.
"When Boomers have more time on their hands, they want to spend more time giving back to the community," Michael Burton, marketing director of Elations, tells Marketing Daily. "Because Elations provides a time to be active, we thought it was a good way to help them get actively involved."
The new program, called the Building a Better America initiative, will grant three people up to $10,000 each to fund a community building project. Via Elations' Facebook page, they can detail their projects and the organizations to benefit and provide a description of how it will make America better, Burton says. Entrants can then add the project tab to their Facebook profiles to encourage friends to vote for their ideas.
"This is a rapidly growing group on Facebook, and there's already a sizable audience out there," Burton says.
To market the initiative, the company will use Facebook as well as heavy PR efforts that focus on former Olympic gymnasts Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner, who appeal to Boomers both through their stature as former athletes and their nonprofit work. "They have a real passion for doing things that benefit society in general," Burton says.
The top 20 entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges (including Comaneci and Conner), which will choose the top three projects to fund, with a goal of having them completed or up and running by Oct. 29.
Although the Building a Better America project is only in its pilot stages, Burton expects the initiative to grow in the coming years and to increase the marketing power behind it. "As we continue to expand it in 2011 and beyond, we may even want to consider shooting a television ad to promote it," Burton says.