Targeting Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers on Social Media

As we all know, social media is now an integral part of society, and a very important marketing tool. The power to target distinct audience groups with just a few clicks is revolutionising the way business and brands conduct their marketing campaigns. Now, thanks to some new research by Sprout Social, there is even more insight in to the ways that each age group use social media – whether they are a Millennial, part of Generation X or a Baby Boomer.


According to the new research, 33% of Millennials – those aged 18-34 – ranked Facebook as their preferred social media platform, with Instagram a close second and Snapchat in third place. Known as the “Ask Generation”, Millennials are 30% more likely to interact with a brand via social media than Generation X or the Baby Boomers. This is useful for marketers as they know to expect more interaction and engagement with this age group than older generations.


Generation X

Aged between 35 and 54, ‘Generation X’ was found to have a profound love of Facebook, with 64.7% of social media users in this age group stating it was their favourite platform. As Facebook is their most used platform, the best way to target this generation is by building a steady and consistent stream of organic posts, alongside paid advertising to increase reach. It is also useful to note that Generation X is known as the “buying” generation on social media – the research found that 7 out of 10 are ‘likely to purchase something from a brand they follow on social media’. This means that when businesses target new customers from this generation, they should focus efforts on new likes or followers to their social media platforms first.


Baby Boomers  

Known as the “observing” generation, and aged 55 and older, Baby Boomers were born into an era when social media was not such a prominent part of life; however, this doesn’t mean that they are averse to using it now. 65.2% of Baby Boomers voted Facebook as their favourite social media platform, with the other 34.8% of users spreading their opinions minimally amongst other platforms like YouTube.  This generation is most likely to follow a brand on social media for informative reasons, with 60% using social media to look for promotions. This is useful for marketers to note as they can target specific promotional campaigns to this audience, with a lesser focus on other key messages.


So, clearly the research shows that different demographics have opposing priorities on social media and campaigns should differ for each age group, rather than one overall message. Facebook is obviously the most favoured of all the platforms across all generations, but there are still significant audiences on other platforms, which should not be ignored.

For more social media insight, and help with creating a tailored social media strategy, contact us today.


By Matt Jenkins