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Rise Of The Silver Insta-Influencers

02/05/2017 16:46
Erik Khalitov via Getty Images

It's the new job on the block - but until now, the coveted role of online 'influencer' has remained pretty much the preserve of young women, as they pout their fresh-faced way to wages of thousands of pounds.

However, this could be changing with the increasing influence of silver surfers and their growing presence on Instagram - in particular older women.

Stats released last year by the Office of National Statistics revealed the use of social media was rising fastest amongst the middle-aged.

Two thirds of 45- to 54-year-olds in the UK are now on a social network, while the proportion of 55-to-64-year-olds using social media passed 50% in 2015.

Instagram is after all one of the most user-friendly of online platforms or social media accounts - it's a lot simpler than Facebook as an interface, and tends to showcase the finer things in life, which a senior audience appreciates more.

Sign up, upload photos and boom, you're done. Being such a visual medium, it's easy to share and celebrate your wonderful life, earned by all those extra years you've spent on the planet. Stylish and creative women are more likely to sign up to Insta to get and share inspiration with their own demographic too. They're also more likely to seek out and connect with their own age group online in addition, rather than for aspirational reasons or to clock the latest antics of the myriad Kardashians. They're more likely to follow style legends like Diane Keaton - 12k followers and counting...

The fashion industry for one is turning to Instagram more and more to find its latest more mature stars, after being repeatedly stung by accusations of ageism in recent years.

Instagrammer and fashion blogger Lyn Slater, 63, (120k followers on Instagram) is the current face of Mango and Scottish stylist Gillean McLeod, 61, (3,329 followers) last year modelled swimwear for H&M.

Model Maye Musk (yes, Elon's mum) has 35,000 Insta followers and puts the rise of older models squarely down to the internet. She has said: "Social media has given all women a voice and platform. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have done wonders for me, and I love being able to share my experiences directly with those who are interested, and engage with them."

After all, it's pretty much in every business's interest to embrace age diversity in the media if they want to pocket the silver pound, so it stands to reason that more and more industries and brands will be chasing the over 55s online to plug their products. And nowadays, it's not just those with hundreds of thousands of followers - so-called micro-influencers with up to 100,000 followers but more than 3,000 are being sought out.

It is predicted that by 2018 there will be 20 million over-55s in the UK, making up one in three of the population. Over-50s already account for around 47% of all UK consumer-spending as they are getting healthier and wealthier.

Added into the equation is the fact that household spending power still lies mostly with women in the UK - Catalyst.Org, estimates that, on average, 67% of all UK household consumption is controlled or influenced by women. So, it makes good business sense to chase mature female customers - and targeting Instagrammers is an instant way to do it.

Currently, only 29% of adults use Insta in the UK - but the network is still in relative infancy with 400 million active daily users worldwide compared to 1.2 billion Facebook daily users.

So as this figure grows, we can look forward to seeing more and more silver Insta-influencers popping up on your screens soon... could one of them be you?

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