By Interactive Strategies
Dec 15, 2015

Do You Think Seniors Ignore Mobile Facebook Ads?

According to a Pew Research Center study from November, only 16% of seniors (identified as people 65 or older) own a smartphone, computer, and tablet. While that statistic is consistent with conventional wisdom, it doesn't reflect the dynamism of modern day seniors. 

At IS, we create, build and manage Facebook ad campaigns that aim to facilitate engagement, increase page likes, and generate conversions. In recent campaigns that we've run for a select group of clients, senior audience engagement levels blew us out of the water - they commented, shared the ad with their friends, liked the Facebook page associated with our campaigns, and significantly outperformed their younger counterparts. 

Every campaign KPI we saw contradicted the conventional wisdom we'd heard time and time again. Facebook analytics also indicated that our ads were performing better on mobile devices, which seemed highly inconsistent with our predominantly mature audience. 

With that in mind, we decided to conduct some tests within a client's ongoing Facebook campaign aimed at generating page likes and Facebook engagements. For our A/B test, we wanted to see how seniors responded to advertisements on mobile platforms vs. desktop. 

The results were pretty staggering. (All of our results are specified for people 65+.)


Mobile Performance Data:

Desktop Performance Data:

Desktop Demographics


  • Desktop cost per engagement is nearly 3x more expensive than mobile! If you are looking for high engagement on a limited budget, allocate more money to mobile placement than desktop. 

  • Seniors using Android devices were less likely to engage than those with iOS devices.

  • Cost per engagement for senior men was consistently lower than for senior women. That result is flipped in younger demographics.

  • Although our desktop reach percentage is higher than mobile, 46% is still an impressive number for digital non-natives.

  • People tend to use tablets and smartphones for leisure instead of business, which likely helped our awareness ad mobile click-through rate. 


  • We discovered that mobile ads are consistently more effective than desktop ads for people 65+. 

Future Considerations for Digital Marketers:

  • How can you utilize mobile to attract a challenging demographic?

  • Are your performance metrics consistent with conventional wisdom or does this present an opportunity for growth?


We'd love to hear about your experience with the 65+ demographic and mobile effectiveness. Feel free to reach out to us or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

(202) 223-8656