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Appealing to the Generational Gap On Social Media

generations

Editor’s Note: The following data was discovered through a survey by BuzzStream and Factl. It is meant to inspire ideas for how to craft your social media marketing message, not to support sweeping generalizations.

Different generations consume information differently. They hold a diverse set of values and ideas. They work differently, engage differently and build relationships differently.

One of the first steps to developing your social media strategy is deciphering who your target audience is, and then understanding how to best connect with them online.

This can be especially challenging if you are looking to engage across numerous generations. What are the key distinctions and similarities between these age groups? How can you apply these trends to the way you share your brand story and build meaningful relationships over social media?

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers

Where to find them:

Facebook. Surveys show Baby Boomers share on Facebook more than any other demographic.

How to connect with them:

In the morning — between 5am and noon.

Politics and the news are their go-to topics of interest. Video has been found to be the most popular content type for Baby Boomers to consume, but they also enjoy short blog posts (around 300 words). One thing is certain: they are consuming. In fact, studies show this generation consumes more content than Gen X and Millennials, with 25 percent spending 20 or more hours online each week.

How to sell to them:

Look to appeal to their desire for products and services that make their lives easier. Don’t underestimate their interest in e-commerce — 33 percent shop online. Keep in mind, many Baby Boomers don’t plan on retiring anytime soon. They enjoy working, and they see “growing older” as something they can either avoid or do in style. So you may want to look for opportunities to add this messaging into your marketing plan.

Gen X

GenX

Where to find them:

Facebook and Twitter. Although they use Facebook slightly less than other generations, Gen Xers take the lead in both Twitter and YouTube.

How to connect with them:

Later in the evening — between 8pm and midnight. They tend to consume blog posts; with a strong preference for posts over 500 words (compared to other generations). Favourite content genres include personal finance, parenting and healthy living.

How to sell to them:

Stress the value of your product or service. Note, Gen Xers are often looking to get the most of their money and can be persuaded by a good deal. But avoid offering grand claims; Gen X will see right through your bluff. They trust your actions over your words.

Gen Y/Millennials

millennials

Where to find them:

Although they are still most active on Facebook, they’re all over Twitter and Instagram. At the end of the day, you can find them almost anywhere online. They’re the “Internet generation,” after all.

How to connect with them:

Later in the evening — 8pm to midnight, along with their Gen X friends. Consider appealing to them through humour, creativity and image-heavy content (memes are especially popular). They prefer to read blog posts of 300 words. Their most enjoyed topics of interest include technology and entertainment. And make sure your website is optimized for mobile. Over 25 percent of millennials are connecting with you from their smartphones.

How to sell to them:

Whatever you do, avoid the car salesman approach. Your sales messaging should be subtle. Millennials know how to block out unwanted information. Their attention spans may be short, but their demands for personalization are high. Often, they’ll tell you how to market to them before you have a chance to woo them with your next campaign. You just have to be prepared to listen.

Do you agree with the findings above? How do you fit in? Do you follow along with the trends of your generation? What tips do you have for marketing to these diverse generations? Share in the comments below.