The impact of Granfluencers on social media—and 3 famous ones

by | Feb 7, 2022 | Public Relations

The elderly have more spending power, but are often overlooked by marketers—67 percent of baby boomers possess smartphones, and account for 59 percent of digital purchases.  It is evident that this generation is technologically more savvy than the younger generations give them credit for. The world of social media is not just for young people, as there are successful influencers who are a couple generations their senior. Hence the rise of the granfluencer, the older and wiser influencer marketer, a portmanteau of ‘grandparent’ and ‘influencer’.

Industries working with granfluencers

Any attempt to generalize the nature of the baby boomer generation will prove fruitless considering the extent to which they have expanded their horizons. Granfluencers are grandparents, great-grandparents, and spouses who are comfortable in their skins and marked by authenticity. There are several industries working with them, such as fashion, travel, and fitness.

Changing views

Most granfluencers don’t see themselves as elderly. They see themselves as seriously cool citizens. Influencers between the ages of 57 and 75 are fond of gardening, fashion, cooking, and fitness, and are only too happy to share everything they have learned with their followers on social media platforms. They do a lot of myth busting about what’s possible in life’s sixth, seventh, and eighth decades. Untouched by the pressure of popular culture, they exhibit a kind of confidence that embodies the genuineness that many brands seek. Brands like Amazon, Nike, and Lululemon, among others, have been seeking the support of granfluencers in order to highlight inclusion. Discussed below are some senior social media influencers who are gaining popularity.

  • Joan MacDonald

Joan MacDonald is a 74-year-old fitness instructor who has gained more than a million followers by documenting her fitness journey on Instagram. Her posts include photos of an impressive physique, and tips to promote healthy living. They also feature glamorous shots in portrait mode, coordinated athleisure sets, and white sand beaches. The posts are not only eye-candy, but convey something deeper: a septuagenarian who is challenging the ideas of who older women can  be. Hers has become a community fueled by the idea that when women make time for themselves, irrespective of their age, a radical shift happens.

  • George Takei

A well-known social media sensation, George Takei is loved by many. The 84-year-old political activist is an outspoken advocate for immigrant and LGBTQ rights. From his experiences as a child who lived through racial discrimination, to his triumph as an artist and social media presence, he is exceptional. He keeps his followers happy with a blend of cultural commentary, interesting links, and just plain humor.

  • Helen “Baddie Winkle” Elam

A 93-year-old social media influencer, Baddie Winkle took social media by storm with her eccentric outfits and saucy attitude. Her unfiltered posts and hilarious captions have made her an icon. She has over 3.4 million followers on Instagram. She became famous after her great-granddaughter took a photo of her in her tie-n-dye shirt and cut-off denim shorts. Her posts on Insta reveal partnerships with Tillamook ice cream, LG USA, Jack In The Box, and many more. She believes that her followers like her because she is a rebel.

Influencer marketing remains an integral part of many public relations campaigns.

Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian founded 5WPR, a leading PR agency..


ICYMI: Bulldog’s most popular posts in June

ICYMI: Bulldog’s most popular posts in June

Despite a bit of a summer slowdown from the massive traffic we’ve seen so far this year, Bulldog had some high-traffic posts thanks largely to our wonderful contributors, who opined on timely and important issues like the rise of virtual influencers, winning new...

Smart strategic tips for building a strong online brand presence

Smart strategic tips for building a strong online brand presence

In an era marked by widespread internet access and rapid information exchange, a robust online brand presence has become indispensable. It functions as the digital storefront that attracts potential customers, the platform for establishing industry authority, and the...