In 2022, research indicated that the age distribution of social media users in the United States was evenly spread, with a consistent increase in users among individuals aged 18 to 64 and older. The data also showed that different social platforms are popular with different age groups. You can find multiple talents in social media among various age groups performing various activities to entertain people.
Although most users come from younger generations, some social platforms are used more by older generations. Since the demographics of each social network vary, you must understand how different generations use social media.
Moreover, as a marketer or business owner, you should know the ideal platforms for different ages. With various social networks available, which are worth promoting your brand based on your target demographics?
Today, the generations we know have four types: Generation Z, Millennials (Gen Y), Generation X, and Baby Boomers.
Here’s how each generation uses and consumes social media:
Gen Z, also called Zoomers, has the most online social networking users. This generation has had social media exposure for nearly half their lives. Thus, they’re always online. They’re also visual learners, as visual content appeals to them more than older generations.
Gen Z’s most common reason to use social media is to kill time. Besides this, they consume social media for the following:
As shoppers and consumers, Gen Z loves to interact with social media brands and businesses to learn more about them. They expect brands to provide personalized shopping experiences without being intrusive and overbearing. But besides that, social media has affected mental health in various manners as most youngsters use it daily.
As such, enticing Gen Z includes:
Social media is changing our art experience and millennials are considered the most adaptable generation due to being born before and after the Internet. While they are not tech-reliant, they are tech-savvy enough to understand modern technology. Since they have lived through many changes, they seek something new and can adapt quickly.
This generation uses social media to connect with peers and the world. They use it to stay informed about societal problems, share life updates, and find entertaining content to reach and watch.
As consumers, Millennials expect social media brands to address their significant needs and life moments, including career, family life, and future. They engage with online communities that provide discussions related to their endeavors and daily needs.
DID YOU KNOW?
In 2023, an estimated 4.9 billion people will use social media across the world.
Gen X is the small generation between the larger Millennials and Baby Boomers. Although small, they still make up a significant portion of social media users. They’re more likely to stick to websites that they know and understand.
Gen Xers are also technologically hybrid. Having seen life before and after the Internet, they can use technology but aren’t as tech-savvy as their succeeding generations.
This generation uses the web to connect with loved ones who matter, share opinions, and research. They prefer social platforms that are easy to use and provide news. They expect brands to inform, educate, and entice.
If Gen Xers are your target market, you must provide in-depth content that solves their problems—for example, how-to articles and video tutorials.
While Gen Xers’ trust is difficult to earn, losing it is risky, too. They can be your most loyal clients or customers, often willing to pay premiums to their trusted brands. Outstanding customer service is the key to earning their loyalty.
Baby Boomers are traditional media natives. They’ve witnessed the drastic shift from television, radio, and newspapers to personal computers, laptops, and smartphones. Only a few from this generation consider social media necessary.
While Boomers are used to changes, they’re not used to digital technologies due to their old age. They’re the ones who use their index fingers instead of thumbs on smartphones.
Since most Boomers spent their lives without social media, they lost contact with some loved ones. Using social media is their way to find and reconnect with them. They also use it to kill time and browse information.
Boomers spend a long time browsing listings before making a purchase. They ensure quality products or services and top-notch customer service because they’re ready to purchase. If they are your target market, you must promote your brand on social platforms where they’re more active.
Different generations have different preferences, but most use similar social platforms. Here are the top platforms for different generations that you can use to target all ages:
Facebook is the leading social media channel worldwide. Besides connecting with loved ones and the world, many consider it like an email address—an expected credential of being online. Baby Boomers and Gen X prefer this social network.
Marketing to Baby Boomers and Gen X on Facebook involves:
Instagram is an image and video-sharing social platform that Gen Z and Millennials prefer. Users share stories, photos, videos, and reels in this app. It is also mainly used for influencer marketing.
Marketing to Gen Z and Millennials on Instagram involves:
TikTok is another social platform Gen Zers and Millennials prefer. This interactive app lets users create, watch, and publish short-form videos. It is notable for its high engagement and addictive quality.
Marketing to Gen Z and Millennials on TikTok involves:
YouTube is the second-leading social media platform worldwide. It thrives on and has become popular because of user-generated content. Unlike formal content on television, users publish creative videos that resonate with the viewers on this channel. Baby Boomers also prefer this social network.
Marketing to Baby Boomers on YouTube involves:
Twitter, now X, is a social network for microblogging. It lets users publish tweets—which are short posts—containing text, photos, links, and videos. Gen Z and Millennials are the ones using this platform the most.
Marketing to Gen Z and Millennials on Twitter involves:
Snapchat is a social network that lets users send and post disappearing snaps (pictures and videos). Gen Z uses this platform the most.
Marketing to Gen Z on Snapchat involves:
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. It lets users create business profiles and connect with professionals across industries. Users also hunt and apply for jobs in this app. Unlike other platforms, Gen Z doesn’t use this platform that much. Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Gen X are the ones who mostly use it.
Marketing to Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers on LinkedIn involves:
Generational social media usage has distinct characteristics, but it also shares similar purposes, like finding information, interacting with brands, and browsing engaging content.
Leveraging social platforms for all generations enables you to target and reach different demographics to grow your brand. This way, you can amplify your strategies and attract more prospects from all walks of life.