AARP’s New Social Network

Planning for retirement isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes time to research your options, figure out how to start this next chapter in life and get insights and recommendations from peers. But there’s not really much out there right now connecting the 50-plus consumer to these types of resources, and to one another.

AARP is looking to fill this void, with a new social platform it calls, “Life Reimagined.” It’s a place where people can find articles, resources and tools to plan for retirement, and can also socialize with like-minded individuals planning this next stage of their life. The site is rich in content that’s both created by AARP and actual people, sharing their real-life experiences.

“What we are trying to do is address a real need for people going through these types of life transitions and triggers,” said Emilio Pardo, chief brand officer at AARP. “We’ve already been doing this through other initiatives, but realized we need to do more both online and off, and the personal peer-to-peer experience is what really makes this unique.”

The “Sounding Board” feature on the site allows members to set a private circle of people that they trust for feedback and advice. Members set up a profile and could post their goals for retirement, like healthy living, maybe philanthropy, or taking up a hobby. Then, individuals with similar goals can follow and support one another, and even update each other on their progress.

The site’s content is tailored to each individual, since everyone’s encouraged to take a short diagnostic and give AARP a better sense of the information, tools and resources they’re looking for. The site was built by agency R/GA, which has taken a smart approach in limiting the AARP branding on the site.

I know what you’re thinking. Why would AARP build out it’s own social network, when it could do all these same things via a brand page on Facebook or Twitter? The downside to dealing with a Twitter or a Facebook is you don’t control the community. Here, AARP runs the show. All the data belongs to AARP, and there aren’t any other brands vying for consumer attention.

Other brands have tried building out their own social media sites, like Procter & Gamble’s “Being Girl”, which currently gets about 146,000 unique visitors per month and Foot Locker’s “Sneakerpedia.” These examples prove that as long as you’re filling a void, and staying on-brand, something like this could work.

“This [AARP] site is completely on-brand, as AARP strives to help people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities,” Pardo said. “Our members are looking for tools, guidance, and connections to help them regain choice and control in their lives and discover a path to personal fulfillment. We built Life Reimagined to open doors and fill the gap in available resources.”

Image via Shutterstock

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