How Different Generations Use Social Media and How Your Business Can Adapt
Updated: Dec 15, 2022
Adjusting the content of your website is fundamental to your business. The choice of platform can be a make-or-break opportunity for your audience reach. So, knowing where your audience spends the most time and how they use social media is the best way to create a line of communication. A campaign fails if you choose the wrong platform, even if it is the most engaging ad campaign.
Another aspect worth noting is the behaviour of different age groups on these social platforms. What are Boomers doing, what do Millennials share when they go on Instagram, and what kind of content is Gen Z expecting from businesses?
The following age groups are on social media today:
Social media has become part of every generation’s daily routine. More than 80% of each generation is on a social media platform at least once a day (Source: Social Ninja). This means that social media marketing is critical to your business’ success.
How Gen Z Uses Social Media
Gen Z, or “Zoomers” as they are more commonly known, spend an average of 3 hours on social media (Source: We Are Arise). They also spend a whopping 66% of their time on social media and report that their usage is linked to them killing time above their need to stay connected to others.
As a generation, they are the most tech-savvy, having had social media and the internet readily available to them throughout their lifetimes. Based on the survey conducted by Sprout Social, Gen Z’s social media usage is projected to grow in the next year and, at the most, in the next 3 years.
The typical platforms that Gen Z use are the following (by order of Importance):
Gen Z and Market Predictions
Social media is a means for Gen Z to communicate with businesses and interact. With information easily accessible on the internet, Gen Z requires brands to be transparent and expects the brand to have a line of communication in its social media channels. Many of the Gen Z generation use social media to discover and learn about new brands. Gen Z also prefers visuals and short-form videos, given that they spend most of their time watching short-form videos. Suppose your brand is targeted towards this age group. In that case, it is necessary to have a solid social media presence and clear information about your product or service that is readily accessible.
How Millennials Use Social Media
Millennials are a generation that also had to grow up with social media. Still, their interaction with social media has changed, given the rapid advancements that occurred with the internet and social media in their lifetimes. Given that they are the first generation to experience the rise of technology, they are also the most susceptible. As noted by Sprout Social, millennials generally spend time on the internet to connect with friends and family.
Considering millennials as a separate group is essential to how you market your business. Although they’ve had to deal with wave upon wave of outdated trends, they are no longer teenagers. They are navigating early adulthood, career changes and other significant milestones.
The typical platforms that millennials use are the following (by order of importance):
Millennials and Market Predictions
Most millennials are checking about businesses through their smartphones. Adapting your content to be viewable on a mobile screen is important. Millennials are also more likely as a group to make purchases online. Though, they are less likely to make a purchase for a brand that does not display the correct core values.
For millennials, values such as authenticity, environmental sustainability and even a good unboxing experience resonate. Taking care to uphold certain values is suitable for your business in the long term. Sprout Social states that millennials are the highest praisers of any age group, using social media to reach out to brands and express love or gratitude for a product/service.
How Gen X Uses Social Media
Gen X spend around 1.5 hours on social media (Source: Statista). An often neglected group by marketers, although they also came to learn about social media alongside millennials. They see themselves as self-starters and prefer to learn about brands on their own before they make a decision about a purchase. Gen X are different from millennials and Gen Z because they grew up without a smartphone or the internet. This means they are more challenging to convert.
The typical platforms Gen X use are the following (by order of importance):
Gen X and Market Predictions
To appeal to Gen X, it is essential that you offer all the information about your business that can help your audience make an informed decision about your product/service. This can be done through unpacking videos or How To’s. Gen X prefer to see why your product/service is worth using. This means they might be challenging to convert. However, gaining this conversion might mean strong customer loyalty.
How Baby Boomers Use Social Media
Baby boomers have been the slowest generation to adopt social media into their lifestyle. It is an optional choice for Boomers to have a social media presence or to use social media in general. However, following the pandemic, more and more boomers began engaging in social media, particularly Facebook. For Baby Boomer’s conversion through social media is a process that takes time. Though there are a few that are willing to shop online, the majority prefer to go to physical stores.
The typical platforms baby boomers use are the following (by order of importance):
Baby Boomers and Market Predictions
Boomers will likely start searching for your product on Google search engines. We recommend you improve your Google Business profile to be prepared as you want them to visit your business location. You should also have a proper SEO strategy implemented to drive your audience to your website. We have a whole article on How to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Better Conversions to give you an overview of what you can do to get started.
Key Takeaway: Learn and adapt
The best way you can learn about your audience is to apply social listening principles. Try to observe where they spend the most time when it comes to social media and also what they truly require from businesses. It is true that each generation is different, but if you take an empathic approach to reach your customers, you’ll provide them with the best value and gain their loyalty in the long run.