July 17, 2019 Guest Blogger

The Granfluencers: Stylish Seniors Who Are Beating You at Social Media

Can a retired chemistry teacher become an Instagram star overnight? Sure, if said retiree is game to try anything new.

Most people think that only Millennials and Generation Z have mastered the art of Instagram marketing as nearly three quarters of all Instagram influencers are between the ages of 18 and 34. But a new type of influencer is now becoming the toast of the photo sharing app –  the “granfluencers,” or seniors who happen to be equally savvy when it comes to social media. These granfluencers are redefining what it means to be a cool senior as they post photos of their unique outfits and sartorial flair as they live life to the fullest. Move over Millennials, these are the stylish seniors who are killing it on Instagram right now.

The Fashion Icons

Most seniors would love to quit the workforce early to follow their passion. In the case of these granfluencers, they’ve managed to combine their love of social media and passion for fashion, resulting in online success and the beginning of their second or third act in their career. Scroll through 90-year-old Moon Lin’s Instagram page and you’ll marvel at how well the Taiwanese star pulls off popular streetwear brands such as Supreme, Adidas, Puma, and Plain-Me, among others. For a dose of NYC chic, check out Lyn Slater‘s Instagram — the 65-year-old, described as a “badass” by her fans, is famous for her creative fashion choices, and this has led to a contract with Elite Models London. To date, Lin has over one hundred thousand followers on the photo sharing app, while Slater has over 660 thousand followers.

The Accidental Style Star

Can a retired chemistry teacher become an Instagram star overnight? Sure, if said retiree is game to try anything new. Throw in a fashion savvy grandson, and you’d have the same kind of Internet fame that 84-year-old Tetsuya is experiencing right now. It all started when Tetsuya’s grandson, Naoya Kudo, went home to Akita Prefecture in Japan to spend time with the retiree. During their time together, Kudo decided to dress his grandfather up in his clothes for a photo shoot. As soon as Kudo shared the pics of his grandpa decked out stylishly in outfits such as a teal Cosmic Wonder suit and a pink Vetements jacket, they immediately went viral, and a new Instagram star was born. The account, which was created in May 2019, has more than 123 thousand followers to date.

The Secrets To Instagram Success In Later Life

Most granfluencers are certainly different from your average grandma or grandpa as they’re well-versed in trends and social media. However, if you’re a senior (or perhaps you know one) who’s looking to start an Instagram account, there are several things to keep in mind. First, find your passion. Are you enamored by fashion, or perhaps you love travel? Focusing on one theme for your account gives it a cohesive feel. Next, you have to be authentic — the Internet is quick to point out phonies, so if you find no meaning in what you’re posting and are doing it for the clicks, you may soon find yourself at the end of today’s savage cancel culture. Lastly, have fun doing it. Treat it as a hobby or as a way to connect with people. When it stops being fun and starts getting stressful, you might start questioning why you opened the account in the first place.

It’s amazing to see how the online community is responding to granfluencers as more and more seniors are taking to Instagram to express themselves. This just proves that these savvy seniors still have a thing or two to teach young people when it comes to slaying the Internet.   

Freelance contribution especially written for Find Your Influence by Karoline Cooke