How To Market To Different Generations On Social Media

How To Market To Different Generations On Social Media


Social media is becoming an ever-increasing part of running a business, but where do you start when you need to narrow down your target audience? What inspires each generation the most?

It’s clear to see that social media platforms such as Facebook are firm favorites across the board. There are differences that could mean your marketing efforts aren’t maximized if using the wrong platform for your target audience. What might work for Generation Z won’t necessarily work for Baby Boomers and vice versa.

There are a number of different factors that relate to social media with each generation. Each one of these factors can impact how successful a marketing campaign is so it’s important to know what these are and how you can utilize them.

Generation Z (People born between 1996 & 2010)

Generation Z is the new wave of social media users. The truly digital generation, you’d be hard pushed to find one that hasn’t had contact with a computer.

Gen Z is far more switched on when it comes to what’s going on around them. They’re also noted as having a pretty short attention span when it comes to engaging with a piece of content. So, keeping things brief, relevant and authentic will have the biggest impact.

Visually, video content that is designed to empower and motivate is best when it comes to inspiring Generation Z.

42% feel that social media has a direct impact on how they feel about themselves.

67% regularly use Facebook. 23% say “constantly” they use Snapchat. 

79% say they would be interested in using Virtual Reality as part of social media.

63% say they would prefer to see real people in marketing rather than celebrities.

You just have 8 seconds to engage with Generation Z on social media. Described as “Pluralist“, Generation Z have more conviction in global diversity. 

How To Market To Generation Z

  • Content should be kept short, positive and visually pleasing with the opportunity to interact.
  • Video-based content is the most favored.
  • Authenticity is the king.
  • Offer a visible result for their loyalty.
  • Offer snap, exclusive offers.
  • Hit their news feed when they wake-up and when they have finished school/college.
  • Generation Z is most active, on Thursdays and Fridays.

Millennials ( Born between 1977 & 1995)

Millennials are far more idealistic and this has led to many taking a more negative tone with this generation. But as the largest generation and currently the most influential on social media, there is far more to them than they’re given credit for.

 Millennials respond well when presented with brand advocates and influencers in real time. Due to this, LinkedIn is particularly valuable for those Millennials looking to develop professionally, with over 38% of users falling into this bracket.

Ratings and reviews are also highly prized, including these will help to build better relationships with Millennials.

41% use Facebook every day. 

34% of younger Millennials (aged 18 to 24) use Instagram daily compared to only 25% of old Millennials (aged 25 to 34).

59% say they only watch social media ads until they can skip them.

87% owns smartphones, engaging with said smartphone 150 times a day on average.

5 out of 6 use social media as a first choice when contacting businesses.

88% that use Facebook rely on it as a primary news source. 34% will turn to social media when making purchasing decisions.

Millennials are more likely to use Tumblr than any other generation.

There are 87 million Millennials on LinkedIn, accounting for 38% of its user base.

How To Market To Millennials

  • Facebook is their favored social network with 87% signed up.
  • Focus on influence by getting brand advocates as they find this more trustworthy and memorable.
  • Tap into subjects they care about as they are more idealistic and vocal about these.
  • They rely on reviews and ratings to make a decision about company/product.
  • They respond well to relevant, credible content with a unique and artistic approach.
  • Focus on providing added value.

Generation X (Born between 1965 & 1976)

Generation X is often noted as the forgotten generation or latchkey kids, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The smallest of all the generations covered, but that certainly doesn’t mean they should be left behind.

Gen X has the second largest disposable income after Baby Boomers and is at a stage in their life where luxury and comfort take precedent. Appealing to this desire using straightforward, visually engaging content is best.

The most likely generation to share content always includes a call to action as this will help increase those shares.

Spend more time on social media than Millennials.

They account for 36% of all pinners on Pinterest.

Spend an average of 6 hours 58 minutes on Facebook per week.

Prefer to access social media content between 8 PM and midnight. Only 8% actively use Instagram.

79% will download video or stream video online.

58% use Youtube to find out useful information. They have the highest rate of brand loyalty at 84%.

They prefer to use a computer over smart smart devices.

How To Market To Generation X

  • Generation X has the 2nd largest disposable income; luxurious services and products will appeal to them. 
  • Indulge their need for nostalgia and comfort.
  • Use visually engaging and vibrant video-based content.
  • Avoid polls and quizzes.
  • Provide straightforward click through websites.

Baby Boomers (Born between 1946 & 1964)

Baby Boomers are a generation that you’re most likely to avoid when devising your social media marketing plan.

But with 91% purporting to have a social media account, this could be detrimental.

Boomers tend to favor more content heavy social media platforms such as Facebook, avoiding the likes of Twitter with only 5% of their users falling into this generation bracket.

A generation with a “can do” attitude, they’re vocal about what they believe in much like Millennials and like to share their opinions. Including polls and quizzes in content will appeal to this desire.

A huge 95% of Boomers will opt for email over instant messenger, so encouraging newsletter signups will help increase interaction and build awareness.

Only 54% have a smartphone. 38% are more likely to interact with a poll or questionnaire than other generations.

58% are more likely to visit a company’s website after encountering them on social media.

16% spend 11 hours or more on Facebook every week. 84% on social media prefer Facebook.

Only 5% use Twitter. 91% belong to at least one social networking site. 

They are most likely to share politically motivated content. 95% use email to communicate.

How To Market To Baby Boomers

  • Use interactive content such as quizzes to encourage them to get involved.
  • Engage with relevant content which offers information.
  • Encourage newsletter signups.
  • Use slower, more informative video content.
  • Boomers are vocal and opinionated, ask them to get involved and to share their views.


Choosing the right demographic for your marketing campaign is important. Using statistics and tips will help you to develop quality content that is engaging and relevant, ensuring your efforts don’t go waste.

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