Since social media have emerged as the most powerful advertising tool, advertising strategies have had to be adjusted to make the most of this change. Marketers have to dig deep to establish how different generations use social media, since such information is invaluable when it comes to choosing the right approach to potential customers.
It’s no secret that millennials, i.e. those born in the last two decades of the 20th century, have started using social media at the youngest age. As a result, they are more connected online than any other generation and feel more comfortable using modern technology than older generations.
On the other hand, Generation X (i.e. those born between 1965 and 1980) and Baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1965) are often more reluctant to accept the changes and opportunities brought about by technological development. Still, they too use social media, but mainly for very different purposes.
We’re going to take a peek at some facts related to how different generations use social media and how you can use those facts to set up a more efficient and relevant advertising campaign.
Members of this youngest target group are known for actually living their lives online, though they are no strangers to offline experiences. Still, such experiences are only sought if they could be celebrated and promoted online.
Millennials show their likes and dislikes on social media, but they don’t respond to traditional ads. What usually triggers a response in their case is a branded message, if such messages are in line with how they think and behave.
For example, they are reported to respond well to ads that allow them to imagine themselves in action, using the advertised product. Generally, they find it easy to relate to all sorts of videos, including entertaining and instructional ones.
In terms of brand loyalty, they can become extremely loyal to a brand, provided the brand boasts an image that is in line with the image they want to create about themselves. Your product or service should be of such quality and image that millennials would like to share information or pics about it with their friends and followers online.
These are people who are less interested in bragging about themselves, but are more focused on getting their message and opinion across. For them, social media is primarily a source of information and a useful tool for keeping up-to-date with what is going on in the world.
They are also known to be brand loyal and such loyalty is usually established after they have experienced several brands and products. You shouldn’t count on them to be susceptible to advertisements in the sense they’ll immediately buy the advertised product, but you should place an ad that grabs their attention and makes them remember your offer.
They also like brands and products that have a proven track record of supporting environment protection and other positive causes. If you present information in the form of news, they’ll be more likely to share it on social media.
Being more content-oriented, people born in the sixties and seventies are bound to be intrigued by informative videos about your offer, with a link to your website, which contains, you’ve guessed it, more information.
It might come as a surprise to many, but the number of active social media users among the oldest generation has been rising constantly. With more time on their hands than their children or even grandchildren, Baby boomers are seeking an escape from their often dull daily routine. Being less mobile, they also use social media to keep in touch with their friends and family.
This is the category that is most likely to respond well to traditional advertising methods, such as classic promotional items, but they are not shy to use social media to find out which company is offering such products and under what conditions. That means that marketers also need to establish an efficient communication channel with this generation using social media, though it might be necessary to go an extra mile and provide additional incentives.
Although different generations use social media in a different way and for different purposes, that doesn’t mean that a company wishing to target a wide range of customers can’t exploit the full potential of social media in trying to reach both existing and new customers.
Depending on your strategy, you might wish to narrow your focus and target a specific generation, and create a campaign that responds well to the needs and habits of your target group. On the other hand, you might wish to design individual approaches to each group, using different social media platforms and strategies.
If you’re feeling insecure about getting it right and don’t feel comfortable using social media, you might want to turn to experienced professionals for help. Still, it’s good to be kept in the loop as much as possible, since it’s you who has to make the final decision.