It is very important to adjust our content to the targeted audience. We have to find a way to approach, communicate, suggest a solution for the problem, or entertain. Equally important (if not more) is to approach targeted audiences of different ages on the right platforms. Interesting and informative ads placed on the wrong platform will not achieve full potential.

It is interesting to observe different online behavior of different age groups. Are Boomers right to call Millennials “the lost generation that will spend their youth on mobile phones”? Do Boomers spend more and more time on different platforms? What kind of content is the most appealing to Generation Z and how do they differ from the millennials?

First of all, let us meet social media users:

  • Generation Z (14-18)
  • Millennials (19-35)
  • Generation X (36-55)
  • Baby Boomers (56+)

More than 80% of every generation uses social media at least once per day making social media part of their daily routine. Reasons for using social media and time spent on different platforms varies from generation to generation. Most of the Millennials and Gen Z use social media multiple times a day, but Millennials use many different platforms and Gen Z have their “favorites”.

Gen Z use up to 2-3 platforms daily: YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. On the other hand, Millennials, and Gen X use 5-6 platforms at least weekly: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest… Millennials grew side by side with numerous social networks. It is no surprise that Millennials are going to have an account on each and every one of these platforms. Gen Z is somewhat picky: they can choose and eliminate from the very beginning.

Facebook lost its popularity with younger audiences. Only 36% of Gen Z use this platform once weekly. On the other hand, 87% Millenials, 90% Gen X and 96% Boomers use Facebook at least once weekly. That is right: Boomers are dominating Facebook! Most of the new members on Facebook are Boomers. When we were introduced to Facebook, everybody (usually from My Space) transferred to this new social network. Over time, Facebook gained its popularity with the older audience as well. Millennials grew up – they are not students and teenagers anymore, but adults with real jobs. It is not surprising that Gen Z is trying to run away from the “old folks” and to communicate on the different platforms.

YouTube is popular with all generations. Younger generations prefer shorter video form – TikTok, Ig TV, Instagram story and Instagram live. Younger people like platforms that are dynamic (Ig story only lasts for 24h) and are based on the visual content.

All generations agree on one thing – they all prefer visual content (photo and video) over anything else (text, post, status). Even Baby Boomers (52%) confirm that picture is worth of thousand words, and that is easier to express themselves through pictures and photos. You can use photos even if you are out of words.

Most marketers are aware that generations have different habits when it comes to social media. Social media marketing agencies have to make sure they are up with new trends and recently invented content forms. It is important to have in mind that every generation grows and changes their interests over time and can transfer from one platform to the other.

At the moment:

  • Generation Z – wants brands to be transparent and demand responsive customer service
  • Millennials – value authenticity, use mobile devices for social media
  • Generation X – tech savvy, thoroughly research products, the product must be visible online (SEO, reviews, social media)
  • Baby Boomers – they are ready to spend money online, most spend about 11 hours online before making a purchase, they expect top-notch customer service

Important note: targeted audiences are characterized by many different features and age is just one of them. To achieve full potential, we strongly suggest leaving your social media marketing to professionals. No matter which generation you belong to, your social media approach will always be successful, trendy and modern.