Connect with us

Forget retirement. These Baby Boomers are amassing huge social media followings


Forget retirement. These Baby Boomers are amassing huge social media followings

New York
News Portal Space

At 62, Helen Polise isn’t considering retirement. Not remotely. Her job: TikTok star.

Polise’s account “The Muthership” has nearly 1 million followers. She started the account during the pandemic as a distraction and a way to have fun — but soon it became a second career in the making.

“Some people would ask me, oh, how did you do that transition? How did you figure that out? So, I said, I’ll make a tutorial for you. And that was the turning point in social media for me,” Polise said.

She’s now making money through paid tutorials teaching others how to use TikTok. She hopes to begin phasing out her other job as a TV commercial director so TikTok can become her full-time gig.

Her background commercials helped her understand how to produce for TikTok, Polise said: She transferred what she already knew to a smaller screen.

“I’m really good at technology. Probably a better than a lot of young people,” she added. “I want to highlight that it’s OK to get older. I feel more authentic. I’m not afraid to be myself,”

Authenticity sells — to the tune of millions of dollars. Brands are taking notice and are working with older influencers or “granfluencers,” as they are affectionately known in the industry.

The creator economy is worth $250 billion today and could double in size to about $480 billion by 2027, according to a report from Goldman Sachs


“The Retirement House,” a TikTok account with 5.1 million followers that features six seniors who are playing characters while creating curated content, ran an ad promoting skincare company CeraVe. Four friends from Palm Springs, known as the “The Old Gays” on TikTok, have 11 million followers and partnered with Hyundai. And Chobani worked with 74-year-old Lynn Davis, whose cooking videos have attracted 15.7 million TikTok followers, for an ad promoting the brand.

Most Americans on social media are between the ages of 18 and 29. But the number of people 65-plus on social media grows each year: In 2014, 21% of those in that age group were on social media, a figure that more than doubled to 45% by 2021, according to Pew Research.

Image Here

“We think of older people in a certain way, and the more older people that put themselves out there authentically on social media, we can change what aging looks like and it can be more positive,” Polise said.

At 78, artist and influencer Debra Rapaport is finding a new audience for her sustainable wearable art. On Instagram she promotes her upcoming shows, workshops, and work she’s selling – to her nearly 60,000 Instagram followers.

“I’m not afraid at 78 to put myself out there and say, this is who I am, this is what I do. I’ve been doing it a very long time. I don’t intend to stop,” said Rapaport.

She says her over-the-top eclectic style catches the eye of her younger followers, inspiring them to take risks and express themselves.

“I think young people are craving authenticity. And that’s what I try to encourage,” she said.

It benefits the granfluencers, too. As Americans age, their world often gets smaller. But these older influencers have hundreds of thousands of followers to connect with when they need support.

For example, in June 2022, Polise was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She shared her journey with her followers -— from nearly going blind, to chemotherapy sessions, to sharing the joyful news later that year that she had beaten cancer.

“I truly believe I was meant to go through this publicly because it got me through it. Me telling it. That became my purpose,” she said.

One of her younger followers messaged her: “I followed you to learn about TikTok and now I’m learning about life.”

The community these ‘granfluencers’ are building is more than just about a brand deal or sale. Amid concerns about the impact of social media on the mental health of teens and young adults, these seniors recognize their power in spreading positivity to younger followers. In turn, their community grows.

“I have more friends than I can count, and I have more friends who are like 25 and 30 than 75, 80 years old. So that’s very exciting,” said Rapaport.

#Forget #retirement #Baby #Boomers #amassing #huge #social #media #followings

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Technology

To Top