'Silver socialisers' embracing social media to engage with brands

More than a quarter of people aged over 55 are using social media to talk to big brands, according to new research.

Generation game: more than a quarter of people aged over 55 are using social media to talk to big brands
Generation game: more than a quarter of people aged over 55 are using social media to talk to big brands
A survey by Fishburn Hedges and Echo Research shows a significant public shift towards using social media sites to speak to brands directly, stretched across all age groups.

While half of 18- to 24-year-olds had gone online to ask a question, respond to, interact with, or complain about a brand, 27 per cent of the 55 plus age bracket had used social media for the same purpose.

The figure was 32 per cent for 45- to 55-year-olds.

In what could herald the beginning of the end of the call centre, 65 per cent of people preferred social media to call centres, and 40 per cent of people thought social media improved customer service.

The survey of 2,000 people, which included interviews with executives at brands such as PepsiCo, O2 and HSBC, found that 68 per cent of people have engaged with a brand through social media.

Eva Keogan, head of innovation at Fishburn Hedges, said: 'Where the call centre removes the personal customer service the over-55s grew up with, it’s interesting to see a more modern phenomenon take them back to that experience.

'It also gives them the chance to express themselves in a much more emotional way.

'It’s important that brands recognise the importance of this group from a reputational point of view. Social media are not just the preserve of the young hipsters: the silver socialisers are also getting in on the act.'

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