The Best Way to Reach Different Generations on Social Media

In order to successfully reach different generations on social media, brands must develop different marketing strategies.

Most businesses that sell to consumers have more than one demographic in their target audience. Since different groups of people consume media differently and respond to different messages and incentives, marketing must be segmented. Essentially, you need a different marketing strategy for each audience segment. Your brand message may be the same, but it should be tailored to the needs of the customer.

The majority of individuals who can be reached via social media marketing fall into three age cohorts: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. Each displays certain behaviors online that you need to be aware of, and adjust your marketing to.

Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. Following World War II there was a “boom” in population. This group is entering retirement, but they’re living longer than previous retirees because of improved healthcare. Beneficiaries of post-war affluence, this group controls 70% of all disposable income in the country.

Generation X-ers were born from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s. This group is smaller than the Boomers but its members are in mid-career and are currently earning more money than any other generation. They are slightly more tech-savvy than the Boomers and their spending power will increase as they get older and continue to progress in their careers.

Millennials were born between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s. This group is highly tech-savvy and fluent in every social media channel. Millennials make 54% of their purchases online and that number is rising. They use smartphones and apps for just about everything and are most responsive to mobile communication.

Best Places to Find Them Online

Baby Boomers: Definitely Facebook! Don’t underestimate this group on social media. They may look like the “old folks,” but 72% are using Facebook, 28% are using Pinterest, and 24% are on LinkedIn.

Generation X: The popular giants, Facebook and Twitter, should be your top choices for this group, with 81% of them using Facebook. They are also using Pinterest and Instagram. Also keep an eye on Snapchat, used by 5.9 million Gen X-ers.

Millennials: This group is everywhere online. The best solution is to research the niche platforms, websites, blogs, and apps your audience is using and promote/sell to them where they are.

How to Communicate With Them

Each generation has developed habits that affect their behavior online, including: when they view online content; what they like to consume; and what captures their attention.

Baby Boomers: This group takes its time on social media. They will read longer blog posts, watch longer videos, and take the time to learn and investigate their interests. If your content is too fast-paced they may drop out and look elsewhere.

Use advertising dollars to reach them on Facebook, and use email, direct mail, and coupon marketing. This generation believes that saving money is important and values a discount.

Generation X: This generation gravitates towards video and educational content. They are more likely to download or stream a video, read a blog post, and open your emails. Make sure your content looks good on mobile because this generation and all younger ones will be viewing most of it on a small screen.

Focus advertising on Facebook and Twitter. Offer valuable content on your blog and use opt-ins, free downloads, and video courses to connect with them through email marketing.

Millennials: Mobile marketing is key for this group. Make sure your website, blog, and advertising look really good on mobile devices and that it is easy to take action on your offer. They respond well to influencer marketing. Partner up with the right people and you could see an upswing in your efforts. Millennials listen to their peers and are good at ignoring blatant advertising.

Video is very popular with Millennials but keep it short and make it grabby. This group is used to Snapchat, Instagram, and Vine, all platforms that feature very short video clips. They are not likely to sit through an educational video or read pages and pages on your blog.

Need More Help?

Online marketing will continue to change rapidly as the generations age, technology and media evolve, new offerings are introduced and fashions change. Your marketing tactics must move with with these changes. It requires constant attention, renewed insight, and rapid adjustment to your customers’ shifting needs and preferences. excelerate Digital can help you stay in front of a highly competitive pack by working with you to create a flexible online strategy and implementing your marketing tactics. Contact us to learn more.