Here’s a trend you may have never heard of: Granfluencers.
Personally, I think it makes more sense to call them grandfluencers, but I digress. You may have deduced from the name that these are elderly influencers. Before you make any judgement calls, you should hear where this is going.
There are granfluencers with millions, that’s right, millions of followers on social media. Marketers can take advantage of this trend and partner with a granfluencer that may help them reach a broader age demographic.
While those aged 18 to 24 make up 42% of TikTok’s age demographic, we’d be remiss to acknowledge the growing mature presence on social platforms.
Move over Gen Z, because Baby Boomers are stealing the show.
Why You Should be Investing in Granfluencers
Imagine it is 2070. Gen Z is in their mid-late 60s. Now consider this: is Gen Z still going to be watching the latest and greatest influencers of the youth generation, or are they going to be following people they either grew up watching or are around their age? For most, it won’t be the former.
95% of U.S. adults aged 18-49 owned a smartphone in 2021, while only 61% of those aged 65 and older do. This is a large discrepancy that will decrease over time especially as Gen X reaches retirement age (83% aged 50-64 said they owned a smartphone). The same will be true for social media.
As generations that are more adept with technology age into seniority, there will be a much larger digital market for older generations. Granfluencers will therefore be in higher demand as time goes on.
Most Boomers are not watching Granny Jo (that’s a name I made up) on TikTok; they’re still watching Wheel of Fortune at 5pm (not a dig on Wheel of Fortune). But you can guarantee that Gen Alpha will still be following Mr. Beast (who is real) wherever he is in 50 years.
There is also significant untapped potential in the market for older generations. Boomers control about 53% of our nation’s wealth and 70% of its disposable income. Yet this huge group is often overlooked.
Why? Marketers want to attract what’s cool and modern; the people who are driving the trends. Millennials held that spot for a while, but now the torch is being passed to Gen Z. Meanwhile, Boomers feel nobody is speaking to them, even though they are sitting on money.
Younger generations may be sharing things online, but Boomers are the ones who are buying those things. Not only can granfluencers be used to reach those older markets, they also have wider age appeal.
There’s no need to wait for the current youth to get old and gray though, there are plenty of granfluencers to get in touch with right now. Here are some we think you should check out.
- Iris Apfel – A 101-year-old businesswoman turned fashion model at the age of 96 who originally got her start as an interior designer. Refusing to retire, her Instagram account is now where she shows off her style to almost 3 million followers.
- The Old Gays – This is a group of four hilarious retired men in California. With a whopping 11 million followers on TikTok, The Old Gays have massive appeal and comedic value among the LGBTQ community.
- Barbara “Babs” Costello – Trying to cure her boredom during the pandemic, Babs was encouraged by her daughter to post a cooking video. She now has about 3 million followers on both TikTok and Instagram and even earned a spot on Good Morning America thanks to her viral recipes.
- Lillian Droniak – Whether you are looking for some dating advice from a woman of experience or just looking for a laugh, 93-year-old Grandma Droniak often jokes about the follies of getting older to her 10.3 million followers on TikTok.
- Charlotte Simpson – Also known as The Traveling Black Widow, Charlotte is a micro granfluencer who began travelling and sharing her experiences on Instagram after the passing of her husband.
Being able to model at the age of 100 is astounding, but we’ve underestimated older generations for a long time. Clearly there is a market for content from older generations.
The Real OG Granfluencer
There are so many modern granfluencers that would like to claim that they are the original granfluencer, the first, the OG. These youngins are unaware of the real OG granfluencer: Betty White.
While Betty never had a TikTok account or ever uttered the word “bussin’,” she touched the lives of all age groups. She was a granfluencer before granfluencers were cool.
In September 2011, Betty appeared in a music video for a song called “I’m Still Hot” by Luciana, a British singer. The song was a part of a social media campaign to build awareness about life insurance settlements. It was broadcast on Good Morning America and garnered national media coverage.
It was hilarious, it was unexpected, and it raised money for charity.
The world loved Betty and her sense of humor. When news of her death reached the headlines, everyone felt a little bit of emptiness in their hearts. Her fame even into her old age shined a light on the value of the granfluencer market.
Interested in reaching older audiences for your next campaign? Get in touch with us and we’ll help you find a granfluencer that fits your message.