Social Media Marketing for Multiple Generations

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Social Media Marketing for Multiple Generations

It really doesn’t matter what your business is there is a good chance that you have a broad customer base. There are over 2 billion people who use social media and reaching them is easier than ever. Or is it?

Age is the Rage

When it comes to marketing, social media content for your audience is key. One way to target your social media marketing efforts is by age group.

Remember when I said that there are approximately 2 billion people using social media? Well obviously they are all not on at the same time. Generational groups all have different preferences and habits when it comes to their favorite social media sites. They all also have different ways in which they engage with content.

Generation Z (age 13-19)

It is unwise to discount this group. They are the future and know what they want and how to get it. If you are not considering them marketing efforts you are missing out on future sales. If you place yourself in their minds now they will remember you in the future. Let’s not forget about the influence that they have on their parents. I do not know about you but my teenagers are my “go to” on what is in and what is not. Typically, if they do not recommend it I do not give it a second thought.

  • They spend approximately $44 billion in annual purchasing power
  • The average attention span is 8 seconds
  • 33% would like brands to email them
  • 32% say Instagram is their favorite social media site
  • They are connected for 1+ hours per day, but about half (46%) are connected 10+ hours per day.(wiki.com)
  • One-in-four (25%) are actively connected (checking email, messages, etc.) within five minutes of waking up, while nearly three-in-four (73%) are connected in an hour or less. (wiki.com)
  • Generation Z will travel across digital mediums and it is important for brands to travel with them.

This group, more than any other, needs to be impressed instantly. With an average 8-second attention span, you better be creative and attention grabbing or you are likely to lose this group.

Millennials
(age 20-35)

Some marketers may find it hard to wrap their minds around millennial consumers but they have to do it. No if, ands or butts.This, in my opinion, is the most influential group. If you aren’t reaching this group then you may as well hang it up now. Not only do Millennials have an influence on Generation Z, they have it on Generation X and Baby Boomers. If you can corner this market you have a good chance of cornering the others as well.

  • Numbering roughly 77 million, millennials make up about one-fourth of the US population (Nielsen).
  • Millennials in the US wield about $1.3 trillion in annual buying power (Boston Consulting Group).
  • More than 85 percent of millennials in the US own smartphones.
  • 87 percent of online adults in the US age 18 to 29 use Facebook, with 53 percent on Instagram, 37 percent on Twitter and 34 percent on Pinterest (Pew Research Center). That age group represents a large chunk of millennials.
  • Five out of six millennials in the US connect with companies on social media networks (SDL).
  • Millennials in the US are seven times more likely to give their personal information to a trusted brand than to any other brand (SDL).
  • 66 percent of millennials in the US follow a company or brand on Twitter and 64 percent like a company or brand on Facebook to score a coupon or discount (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth).
  • 43% of Millennials want brands to reach them via email.

It is staggering the influence that this generation has on other generations.

Generation X (age 36-49)

As a member of this generation I can say that more than any other, we are stuck in the middle and tend to get forgotten.
It may be time to start shifting your attention to Gen Xers. As the Baby Boomers continue to age, we’re finding that they are more consumed with retirement and spending time with their Grandkids than the latest hi-tech gadget.
For the first time ever, adults defined as Generation X are spending more of their money on luxury items than they Baby Boomers. Let that sink in for a moment.

Generation X is a part of the only generation who regularly consumes their marketing messages from all of the media channels including social media and mobile (unlike Baby Boomers) and TV/Cable (unlike Gen Y). It is like the trifecta for all of the major brands marketing campaigns.

  • Numbering roughly 77 million, Gen X makes up about one-fourth of the US population (Nielsen).
  • Gen X in the US wield about $1.3 trillion in annual buying power (Boston Consulting Group).
  • More than 85 percent of Gen X in the US own smartphones (Nielsen).
  • 87 percent of online adults in the US age 18 to 29 use Facebook, with 53 percent on Instagram, 37 percent on Twitter and 34 percent on Pinterest (Pew Research Center). That age group represents a large chunk of Gen X.
  • Five out of six Gen X in the US connect with companies on social media networks (SDL).
  • Gen X in the US are seven times more likely to give their personal information to a trusted brand than to any other brand (SDL).
  • 66 percent of Gen X in the US follow a company or brand on Twitter and 64 percent like a company or brand on Facebook to score a coupon or discount (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth).
  • 51 percent of US Gen X would share information with companies in exchange for an incentive (USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future).

While I do not think that my generation is the most important to market to I do not think that, by any means, you should leave them out totally. Generation X sort of holds all of the cards when it comes to buying power. They are old enough to not still have student loans and have started their careers, therefore, having extra income and young enough to still make a marketing impression on and earn their extra dollars.

Baby Boomers (age 50-65)

Ahh the Baby Boomers. Aptly named they have access to 70% of the U.S. disposable income. I am sure we have all seen the memes with the child talking to his Grandma on the phone with an exasperated look on his face trying to explain the internet. Do not let this generation fool you. They are as tech savvy as other generations for the most part. The difference is that they have to learn it and it does not come second hand like it does to say Generation Z or the Millennials.

I mentioned that this generation mainly focuses on retirement and spending time with their grandchildren. Those grandchildren, if you recall, are Generation Z. They want to connect with their Grandkids and social media is the easiest way to do that. This adorable generation loves loves loves Facebook. 84.9% of Boomers said that they belong to and are active on Facebook. When it comes to social media they are very loyal.

  • 60% of people in the 50 – 64 year age group, which is most of the boomer population, are now on at least one social media site (slideshare.net)
  • Baby boomers spend 27 hours per week online, which is two hours more per week than those who are between 16 and 34. (slideshare.net)
  • 61% of seniors and 46% of seniors age 65+ use email. (slideshare.net)
  • 82.3% of baby boomers belong to at least one social media site. (Source DMN3)
  • Baby boomers are less likely to use other social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. 5% of 65+ year olds online use Twitter as compared to 31% of 18-29 year olds, and only 1% of the same group online has an Instagram account. (Source Post Control Marketing)
  • Baby boomers take action based on what they see on social media, and most of the time it’s focused on finding more information. (Source DMN3)
  • Baby Boomers are 19% more likely to share content compared to any other generation, reinforcing the notion that Facebook’s demographic is trending slightly older. (Source Digital Trends)
  • Baby Boomers are the least likely to use a smartphone to make a purchase from social media (Source Marketing Sherpa)

Now What?

There are literally thousands of studies done on marketing to the different generations. I could talk to you all day about it but I will spare you (for now).

What it boils down to is marketing to each different generation is based on analytics. If you just build a marketing plan and hope for the best you probably will not get the results that you are hoping for. As an experienced social media marketing professional, I would be remiss if I did not give you the advice of leaving it to the professionals.
Having a dedicated marketing company on your side will allow you to not only have to keep up with all of the statistics but it will allow you to have a creative outlet that is knowledgeable and can create different marketing strategies that are geared specifically towards each generation.


    Contact Information

    Office Hours :
    Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 5:00pm EST

    Address :
    Horizon Office Park I
    13101 Magisterial Dr. – Ste 210
    Louisville, KY 40223-5137

    Phone: (502) 767-3014


    Contact Information

    Office Hours :
    Mon – Fri, 8am – 5:30pm EST
    Address :
    Horizon Office Park I
    13101 Magisterial Dr. – Ste 210
    Louisville, KY 40223-5137

    Phone: (502) 767-3014