In recent years, older generations, understandably, have been slower to adopt technological advancements when compared to younger generations. Despite their more cautious move into the online realm, more and more seniors are finding themselves online equipped with email addresses and social profiles. According to the Pew Research Center, six in ten seniors now go online.
In light of this statistic, it’s clear that the internet isn’t just for millennials, anymore. Because there has been such a dramatic increase in the number of your older church members that are active online, the challenge then becomes understanding how to connect with them in this sphere.
After inviting your church members to participate in online giving through e-giving Powered by NCS Services and to interact with your custom designed mobile app platform it can be difficult to understand why they may not have jumped on the bandwagon. In order to spark more interest in the online features your church has to offer, begin by connecting with senior church members in the following ways.
If your church is utilizing an email blast to disseminate news, be sure to devise a way to capture the emails of your senior church members that will be readily accessible. If the newsletter sign up link on your website is difficult to find, or is not intuitive for older users, you may be missing out on sign ups. If necessary, consider putting a sign up sheet in your church for older members to write their email addresses and then have a volunteer or staff member enter them into the email blast list manually. After getting them acquainted with receiving church updates online, they may be more likely to utilize other tools to stay connected.
Connect With Them Socially
The demographics of many social platforms, Facebook especially, are getting older. According to Statista, over 60 million social media users in the United States are above the age of 45. Invite the more tech-savvy senior individuals in your church to join your conversations on social media. Once they’ve found you online, they will be more likely to begin interacting with your church in the digital realm.
Just because many of your older church members have email addresses and social profiles does not necessarily mean they’re the most adept at using them. Make the effort to connect older church members with younger church members who may be able to teach them how to use social media and email more efficiently.
Understand Your Website
Web design has changed over the last few years to incorporate a more streamlined appearance and user-friendly interface. If your site has not undergone a redesign in the last few years, it may be time to take a look at its design and ‘usability’. If your site has not yet been mobile optimized, a redesign is the perfect time to enter this sphere, as well. A crisp and clean website, when viewed both on a PC and a mobile device, will be more rewarding for older members of your church to interact with.
After you’ve taken the time to reach out to your senior church members digitally, be sure to engage with them in a meaningful way online. Be sure to update social profiles with relevant information and devise clear copy for newsletters and website content.