Marketing to Your Audience: Social Media Use Across Generations

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According to Entrepreneur, 15 new people start using social media for the first time every second. The biggest question for businesses is how to find their audience in the mass of social media users – and market to them with success.


There are four major generations in that have distinct digital media use trends. Here is a guide to reaching your appropriate audience.



Baby Boomers (1946-64)

This is the “me” generation. Baby Boomers are embracing digital media and are very open to digital marketing strategies. According to Survey Sampling International they are not the “technophobes” they are stereotyped as. In fact, they are the fastest growing group on social media.

  • Access Point: Desktop
  • Active: 5am-12pm (i.e. late morning)
  • Reach by:
    • They use Facebook the most and are best reached by targeted ads
    • Willing to read high quality blog articles, reviews, and email campaigns
    • Baby Boomers love deals and coupons, deals, and any chance to save money
  • Caution: don’t reference their age, but create content relevant to their stage in life
  • Will unfollow if they they see too much spam or irrelevant content


Gen X (1965-1980)

Don’t forget the “Forgotten Generation!” Gen Xers currently have the most buying power and spend the most time on social media than any other generation (Entrepreneur). Gen Xers are more digitally savvy than Baby Boomers but not to the level of Millennials.

  • Access Point: Mobile and tablet devices
  • Active: Evenings (8pm-midnight)
  • Reach By:
    • They are the most active group on Facebook
    • Love watching online videos (78.7% engage with them according to MarketingProfs)
    • Respond to email campaigns, concise, customer-focused blog content
    • They make up 8.5 million regular Twitter users
  • Will unfollow if the business’ beliefs don’t match their own


Gen Y (Millennials – 1981-1999)

Millennials grew up alongside technology, recalling a time before and after its widespread use. They are very picky about digital marketing and will soon have the most buying power.

  • Access Point: Mobile devices
  • Active: Evenings (8pm-midnight)
  • Reach By:
    • Heavily use all social media platforms
    • Engage with live video because it gives them connection to the business
    • Love user-generated content to connect with other consumers and find social proof
    • Millennials prize authenticity and are harder to impress because they have grown up with the internet
  • Will unfollow if they have a bad experience or are annoyed by the brand’s marketing


Gen Z (2000-Present)

Gen Z is shaping up to be one of the most diverse and socially conscious generations having grown up not knowing life without technology and digital marketing. Stills teens, they don’t have the buying power of the generations before them, but will in time grow to be the decision-makers.

  • Access Point: Mobile devices
  • Active: Evenings (8pm-midnight)
  • Reach by:
    • Heavily use all social media platforms
    • Will watch short videos due to short attention spans
    • Engage with quality memes (Caution: don’t overuse and don’t use past prime)
    • Respond to photo-focused content that is visually stimulating with low copy content
  • Will unfollow if they feel the ethics of the business is wrong


General Advice

  • Facebook is most used social platform across the board
  • Instagram is favored by young people – generally the Millennials and Gen Z
  • Don’t try to preach to all at once! Find your audience or craft content to appeal to each separately.
  • Don’t know how to find or target your audience? ANKR would love to help! Contact us here.
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