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What’s a ‘grandfluencer’?

Diane Hall


Older man using Ipad next to a bar

This wasn’t a term I was aware of until recently, though I don’t know why—it makes sense, really. As you may have worked out, a ‘grandfluencer’ is an influencer of a certain age, one who is within, and who therefore appeals to, a much older demographic.

As mentioned in one of my recent posts, where I was ranting about ageism, older people tend to have much greater spending power than their younger counterparts. It’s therefore lucrative for a brand to target this age group and their disposable income.

Social media is used by people over 67, despite the stereotype that pensioners are either technophobes or techno-useless. With more time on their hands, and plenty of life experience, it’s not surprising that grandfluencers exist, i.e. people who want to share their opinions and recommendations with their peers.

Picture of Joan MacDonald

Picture of Joan MacDonald

Take Joan MacDonald as an example. According to an interview with ABC News, Joan, at the ripe age of 71, decided to start a fitness regime to keep herself in the best health possible. At the time, she was on medication for various conditions, including high cholesterol. She went to the gym for the first time and soon became hooked; she also began sharing her routines and experiences online. Today, she has the physique of a pro-bodybuilder and 14 million followers on Instagram. For a health or fitness brand aiming at people over 50, Joan would be an absolute smash. That said, according to ABC News, Joan has plenty of younger fans, too.

3d image of TicTok

3d image of TicTok

TikTok is perceived to be a young person’s platform. One of my favourite personalities on there is Derry Fleming. I tried to find Derry’s age but was unable; however, his son, Tadhg, is 30, which probably means Derry is in his early fifties. Though Tadhg is the ‘influencer’ of the family, Derry is the real star—his grumpiness, his attempts to follow the latest dance crazes, and his hilarious attempt to catch a bat in his kitchen have made him a household name in Ireland. The bat video in particular has been viewed more than 30 million times. And, whether the report is accurate, one source claims that the family is worth £1.05bn on the back of their social media success.

Some grandfluencers have mirrored younger stars by launching their own make-up tutorial channels. The tips and techniques used when young fail to be effective when skin begins to wrinkle and droop, or when it becomes dryer and peppered with age spots/blemishes. This may be the reason why ladies such as Nadine Baggott and Lily Seymour have such large followings, as they specialise in tutorials for women over 50, featuring tips on how best to apply make-up at this age and older.

Part of the appeal with grandfluencers is their honesty. They’re not spending half a day finding the right lighting for their shots or projecting a very different lifestyle than the one they enjoy—because, when you get older, you really can’t be bothered with all that malarkey! Their posts are a true reflection of their life and thoughts.

As mentioned, the older generation has a lot of spending power, and grandfluencers are one way to reach this very large demographics.

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