We know what you’re thinking, social media is only for those young whipper-snappers. And while it’s true that the average age of social media users is fairly young, a large percentage of social media profiles actually belong to adults 55 and over!
Currently, the 50-plus audience is the largest demographic in our history, and research has shown that one in three baby boomers use social media. So rather than being stuck in the dark ages, this generation of consumers is embracing digital media. But even more importantly from a business standpoint, this group of consumers have the most spending power of any age group.
So to ignore the older generation in your social media marketing strategy would be downright foolish, don’t you think?
Herein lies the problem, however. How do you market to different generations the most effectively on social media? What works for a millennial isn’t necessarily going to work for a Gen Xer or baby-boomer. There are a number of different factors that can tailor your strategy to gear portions of it towards each gen, and it’s important to know what they are.
Marketing to Different Generations on Social Media
Let’s start by breaking down your social media audience into 3 general age groups: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials.
Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964.) It is foolish to underestimate this group as being “too old” when it comes to social media. And the best places to target this generation of “older” users is most definitely Facebook! The thing to also keep in mind with this generation is that they take a more laid back approach to social media. They don’t have “FOMO” like younger generations do. They will take their time to research, they read long blogs, and they investigate at length. Anything too ‘fast paced’ or with too many infographics or bells and whistles, and they might just check out.
Generation Xers (born from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s.) Facebook and Twitter appeal to this generation the most. They are also starting to get more interested in Pinterest and Instagram. As a group they look for educational content, tend to download videos and view infographics, and watch live streams. They do so while they juggle it all and multi-task, so they view all of the above most often on a mobile device. Advertising to Gen Xers via Facebook and Twitter bring the most engagement.
Millennials (born between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s.) Well hello! This group is active on every social media platform! They delve further past the obvious and look at blogs, apps, and other alternatives to the regular fare. They are also on-the-go and view nearly all their social media content on mobile devices, so keeping things “short and sweet” works best for this group. Make a quick and instant impression to keep them engaged! Snapchat and Instagram are quick and easy. Use anything that works to capture their interest, before they get bored and move along.
But Back to those Baby Boomers…
Once again, it’s foolish to ignore the relevance of this age group of older online consumers. You don’t want to alienate or lose a significant portion of your consumer audience, who also has the moola to really make a difference. This generation is vocal, like to share their opinions, and are “not your grandma’s” older generation. When presented with the right content they can hugely influence your online presence.
As long as you use all your social media platforms to effectively target each of these vast and varying age groups, you might reap huge benefits …and help make your social media presence cross the lines between all generations 🙂