The internet is a bit like America, anyone can become President. In theory, anyway because of course in reality it’s mostly the big guns who always get into the positions of high office. The big sites, like Amazon and Play and the all-conquering Google and Facebook, occupy the top slots in earning capacity and public awareness. Indeed, so many people use Amazon there’s probably never a moment passing without someone somewhere hitting a “buy now” button.
This doesn’t mean that all of us should assume there’s no place left for us in cyberspace. A website or a blog normally starts out as a hobby and gets bigger as time progresses – until suddenly you’re running a little online business in your retirement, talking advertising space with your web guru and partnerships with other silver surfers out there…
The Online Grandparent
We are the first generation of true online grandparents. Our own parents were too far removed from the technology: their workplaces may well have become computerised during their employment, but the internet (though it was actually up and running in the 1970s) is unlikely to have played a major role.
The world of hour-long dialup times, and making a cup of coffee between sending every email, is long gone. Plenty of us have retired from jobs where internet use is commonplace, and we’ve become the founding grandmothers and grandfathers of an online family with its own needs and interests.
The concept of niche marketing applies to your website or blog whether you’re actually selling anything or not. If you keep a grandparents blog, full of information useful to the online granddad or grandma, for example a daily dose of advice about what to do with the grandkids when they come to stay, then you presumably want to share it with people who will find your input helpful.
To get to the right audience, you need to know how to find your market on the web. This used to be done using some pretty shocking spam marketing techniques, these days, it’s all about social media.
Social Media for Grandparents
Using social media as a grandparent doesn’t mean having to share endless funny videos of cats playing the piano (though you can of course do that if you want!) – but it does mean having a Facebook account as a minimum. The world and her husband get most of their recommendations for sites to visit through the social media – and as the largest subscribed social media site on the planet, Facebook makes the obvious choice.
Don’t expect to get your grandparents blog or website noticed by simply going on your Facebook page and talking about it, or even by creating a Facebook page specifically for it. The way to develop real quality connections in cyberspace is the same way you do it anywhere else. Take the time to listen to what other people are saying, begin to join in their conversations – and naturally, over time, the online world will start listening to you too.