Most online businesses want to appeal to a mix of Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z consumers. However, not all these generations will respond the same to marketing strategies, and consumer research suggests that each generation uses the internet to communicate, shop, and research differently.
This is how any business can effectively use social media to market to all four major generations. You may be surprised by just how the generations differ — and what they have in common. So, to market your business successfully, here’s what the team at Charley Grey suggests.
The second-largest generation, the Baby Boomers, possess 54% of all U.S. household wealth. The generation is somewhat unique among American consumers for growing up without the internet, unlike the “digital native” generations of the Millennials and Gen Z.
Despite having less exposure to smartphones, the internet, and similar technology, Baby Boomers shouldn’t be treated as tech-illiterate.
Like other generations, Baby Boomers rely heavily on online research when purchasing or investigating a new brand. The majority of Boomers also own a smartphone, though only a fraction — around 11% — use their smartphones as their primary method of browsing the web.
Using Social Media to Connect With Boomers
Baby Boomers primarily use Facebook and YouTube. A significantly smaller percentage of Boomers also use Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. Very few Baby Boomers use TikTok.
Brands wanting to connect with Boomers should be sure to have an active presence on Facebook. There, targeting tools will help the brand reach older audiences with their advertisements and promoted posts. Boomers may also be receptive to influencer marketing, but only when brands work with influencers that have the right audience.
Most Baby Boomers use the internet to make their lives easier. Therefore, marketing campaigns that emphasize convenience or direct them to online storefronts may be particularly effective.
Often forgotten, Gen X is a relatively small generation compared to its predecessors and successors, the Baby Boomers and the Millennials.
The generation doesn’t have the population size of Millennials or the wealth of the Boomers, but it still represents a significant market segment. Moreover, because Gen X consumers are at the peak of their earning power right now, more and more marketers are beginning to target them specifically.
While it may be possible to capture Gen X customers by targeting other generations, Gen X’s unique generational characteristics and social media habits mean that businesses can benefit from targeting these consumers specifically.
Using Social Media to Connect With Gen X
Like Baby Boomers, the vast majority of Gen X consumers are regular users of Facebook and YouTube. However, around twice of Gen X consumers compared to Baby Boomers use Instagram and Twitter.
The generation is underrepresented on TikTok, Reddit, Snapchat, and WhatsApp but overrepresented on LinkedIn.
Brands wanting to reach Gen X will still get a lot out of investing in Facebook, but they may find that an Instagram profile allows them to reach more Gen X’ers than they would otherwise.
The largest U.S. generation, Millennials, are one of the two digital native generations that brands often try to target with social media.
While Millennials are sometimes thought of as being less committed to brands, consumer research shows that the generation is as likely to join loyalty programs as Boomers, Gen X’ers, and Gen Z.
Because customer loyalty programs offer so much value for businesses, winning over Millennials using social media can be an excellent strategy for generating sales and growth.
Using Social Media to Connect With Millennials
Millennials are among the top users of both Facebook and Instagram. But importantly, many Millennials are also active users of LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok.
Brands wanting to connect with Millennials can take advantage of the targeting tools available on Facebook and Twitter.
Millennials are also open to influencer marketing, and consumer research suggests that they often trust influencer recommendations on brands and products.
The youngest generation of American consumers right now, Gen Z, probably has the most unique tech and social media habits out of any other generation.
Like Millennials, Gen Z consumers have always lived in a world with easy access to the internet and technology like smartphones. As a result, they’re tech-savvy and know how to navigate the internet and use online resources to research brands and discover new products.
While smaller and less wealthy than other generations, Gen Z has a major impact on the business world and marketing strategies. Gen Z and Millennial demands for sustainable products, for example, appear to be encouraging businesses to adopt more eco-friendly business practices.
Using Social Media to Connect With Gen Z
For the most part, Gen Z is attracted to platforms driven by audiovisual content, like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. These platforms encourage video-based communication and feature robust discoverability features that help them to offer a steady stream of content.
Along with Millennials, Gen Z consumers are also the top users of Twitter. For brands wanting to connect with younger audiences, a Twitter presence can be an extremely useful tool.
Influencer marketing may also be a winning strategy for businesses wanting to connect with Gen Z. Nearly two-thirds of the generation report following influencers online, and around half say they trust influencer recommendations.
How Brands Can Use Social Media to Connect With Any Generation
Social media marketing is a powerful tool if you want your brand to connect with a particular generation. Built-in targeting features and access to marketing strategies like influencer or content marketing make reaching particular generation-based market segments much easier.
When you couple a great social media marketing strategy with a managed website subscription package from Charley Grey, marketing to the generations is even easier! So, contact us today by calling (317) 991-1982.