Blog & News

Five (More) Ways Social Media Can Light Up Your Holidays

Our last post listed five ways social media can brighten your holidays. You can use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and more to chat with family across the country face-to-face, to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in their lives, to maintain friendships, and to meet new people. You can even use social media to improve your cognitive abilities and your overall health, as studies show that satisfying your social needs can improve your well-being.

However, those five things just scratch the surface of the ways that creating a social media profile can benefit you. Social media platforms, and the seniors using them, are catching the attention of companies looking for feedback and ways to boost sales, especially during the holiday gift-giving season. You can give them your input, find coupons, and learn about sales before shopping. However, you can also share your opinion about news and politics and do some research, or use social media for entertainment – small games, funny photos, and amusing videos are great ways to bring a laugh to both you and your friends and family.

While using social media might seem overwhelming, especially after learning about all the things you can do with it, Students for Seniors can help you pick a platform and learn how to use it so you can bond with your grandchildren, chat with friends across the country, and learn about the best holiday and Boxing Day sales.

  1. Research

Social media isn’t just for sharing photos and videos. It’s also a great tool for researching companies, products, and other things that interest you. The most popular platforms for researching are Twitter and Facebook. Magazines, stores, researchers, news outlets, and many more companies and organizations have their own social media profiles that you can follow, and seniors are taking advantage of them. Companies post helpful articles and information about interesting topics. Users can even stay up-to-date on various topics by following niche social media pages, for anything from baking to the latest archaeological discovery.

  1. Save Money or Enter Contests

Companies have started to realize that seniors are an important demographic to target to boost their sales, and they’re taking advantage of this. They don’t just post interesting articles or helpful information; they also post exclusive coupons that are available for social media followers. Others offer social media users the opportunity to enter contests and garner extra entries by “liking” or “following” their pages. If you’re looking to save money or wouldn’t mind the chance to win a vacation or something equally as fabulous, social media platforms are great tools to use.

In fact, studies have shown that social media is a tool that allows consumers and brands to develop interactive relationships. Companies can use social media to learn about their consumer demographic, understand them, and respond to their needs. That means that interacting with companies on social media could result in better products.

  1. Give Input

One benefit of social media networks that seniors are taking advantage of is the ability to provide input. While it might seem futile to speak up about a poor experience at a chain company, for example, social media users can log on to companies’ websites and publicly provide feedback, reaching a wide audience. Such feedback can be particularly powerful as companies often hire employees to specifically monitor their social media pages and read the comments and concerns they receive. Rather than wonder if your comment card ever left a company’s comment box, you’ll be able to chat with other customers about your experience and even receive a reply (and sometimes an offer of compensation) directly from a company representative.

However, social media also allows seniors to provide their input about other topics, too. Many use Twitter or blogs to share their opinions about politics. As Carolyn Gillman, a 58-year-old senior told Everyday Health, “I kind of like to be on Twitter so I can vent my political views a little bit more “I love Facebook, I’m on there all the time, but Facebook is non-political. On Twitter, I can follow people with interesting points of view and blow off steam.”

While an old adage recommends avoiding discussing politics at parties and around dinner tables, social media networks are often ideal platforms for such conversations. They allow users to share their opinions with like-minded individuals or to engage in lively debates with those who disagree with them.

Even if you have an opinion to share that isn’t political, blogs such as Tumblr or other social media platforms allow you the ability to build an audience and share your wisdom with others. Edsel Odom, a 69-year-old social media user told Star News Online that he uses social media because he “want[s] to share [his] message with the world” and your experience with social media doesn’t have to be any different!

  1. Share Experiences

While social media platforms are often used to share photos, videos, and other experiences with friends and family members, they’re also wonderful ways to connect with people you share things in common with to give them peace of mind. Those who have unique experiences or even just want to tell the world about a funny event that happened on vacation can use blogs such as Tumblr or even Facebook or Twitter to share their experiences with the world. Users who need advice or are looking to learn that they’re not alone in a situation can reach out on social media and connect with those who are there. By sharing your experiences online, you have the opportunity to make a difference in a person’s life.

  1. Be Entertained

Another extremely popular and quickly growing use of social media is its entertainment value. Many users view funny photos and videos that have been shared by friends or family. Amusing kittens, adorable puppies, and other humorous media bring smiles to their lips each day, boosting their happiness.

However, social media’s entertainment power doesn’t just stop there. The most popular platform, Facebook, provides users with the opportunities to play online games. While video gaming typically conjures up images of teenagers huddled around a small television screen in a dark basement, it’s actually very popular among seniors. 27% of America’s active video gamers are 50 years of age or older, and 60% of older adults are either regular or occasional gamers. In fact, one in five seniors is a potential gamer. This is because gaming offers many seniors the opportunity to stretch their brains and improve their cognitive functions.

While gaming may seem daunting at first, especially in light of the lingo that teenagers and young adults use when gaming, social media games are often simple and don’t require large amounts of time to play – simply an hour here or there as they progress. Most importantly, Students for Seniors’ technology tutors will gladly help you learn how to use social media and its games. However, chances are that you won’t have too much trouble learning how to use it – as Tyler Hill wrote for Big Fish Games, the next time you notice a friend staring at his or her computer or phone, they might not be trying to figure out texting. They might be trying to get to the next level of a game instead.

What do you think – do you enjoy any of these benefits with your social media account, or do you know someone who might? Comment below to share your experience with us, or share this blog post with a friend or family member who could benefit from setting up his or her own social media account. And don’t forget to check back for our next post!