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Boomers are aware of manipulation of emotions

by The NonProfit Times - October 15, 2013

You remember the Baby Boomers. Hey, you might even be one. In case you are unaware, they were born after — and grew up constantly hearing about — World War II. The lived through the ‘50s and ‘60s and went to work in the ‘70s, some more slowly than others.

They didn’t grow up on computers, but they have adapted to them, maybe grudgingly, just as they have adapted to social media and, the big one, to online giving.

In their book “Dot Boom,” David Weigelt and Jonathan Boehman share ideas about fundraising among Boomers. They emphasize, very strongly, the idea of trust, because they say Boomers, more than younger generations, are more aware of the intended manipulation of emotions that advertising involves.

Weigelt and Boehman suggest the following guidelines to secure the trust of Baby Boomers when utilizing social media.

  • Make a commitment to be transparent. Social media has removed control of a message from the hands of internal marketing and shifted it to the hands of consumers.
  • Do not assume you control the information your audience can access. Just because you don’t supply it, that doesn’t mean they can’t get it.
  • Recognize that social media users feel a sense of ownership. Boomers believe their opinions matter and are extremely vested in their online contributions.
  • If the site solicits feedback, mean it and respond to it. When eliciting feedback, do so with genuine interest.


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