The generational guide to social media marketing
Tuesday, May 09, 2017
While millennials are often portrayed as the selfie generation who are always glued to their phones, they're not the generation that spends the most time on social media. But are they the ones who are most likely to purchase from brands they follow?
Below find data that outlines just how each generation uses social media differently to engage with businesses. The results may surprise you!
Use this data to influence and tweak whom you're targeting on social media. Note: All data (unless otherwise specified) is from Sprout Social Q1 2017 Data.
Millennials: Adults 18-34
- Weekly time spent on social media: 6 hours and 19 minutes (2016 Nielsen Social Media Report)
- Favorite social network: Facebook (33 percent), Instagram (22 percent), Snapchat (15.8 percent)
- When they follow brands: 48.6 percent of millennials follow a brand on social, and 58.9 percent follow a brand before they purchase a product.
- How they interact with brands: Once they follow, 38 percent want to be entertained while 42 percent want information. Plus, 30 percent of millennials engage with a brand on social at least once a month.
- What they hate: Millennials' number one pet peeve is posts they perceive to be annoying, followed by a bad experience.
- Conversion rate: 60 percent of millennials are likely to purchase from brands they follow.
Generation X: Adults 35-49
- Weekly time spent on social media: 6 hours and 58 minutes (2016 Nielsen Social Media Report)
- Favorite social network: Facebook (64.7 percent), Instagram (10 percent), YouTube (10 percent)
- When they follow brands: 48.8 percent of Gen Xers follow a brand on social, and 50.4 percent follow a brand before buying.
- How they interact with brands: This generation loves contests, deals and promotions. 32 percent of Gen Xers interact with brands on social at least a month.
- What they hate: Like millennials, Gen Xers dislike annoying posts, followed by spam posts. Uniquely, this generation is nearly 160 percent more likely than other generations to unfollow brands because of offensive content.
- Conversion rate: 67 percent of Gen Xers are likely to purchase from brands they follow.
Baby boomers: Adults 50-plus
- Weekly time spent on social media: 4 hours and 9 minutes (2016 Nielsen Social Media Report)
- Favorite social network: Facebook (65 percent), Google+ (10 percent) and YouTube (8 percent)
- When they follow brands: 24.5 percent of baby boomers follow a brand on social, and 55 percent follow before purchasing.
- How they interact with brands: Baby boomers primarily want deals and promotions on social, followed by product information. A mere 14 percent interact with brands monthly on social.
- What they hate: By far, the behavior that causes baby boomers to unfollow brands the most are "spammy" posts.
- Conversion rate: 51 percent of baby boomers are likely to purchase from brands they follow on social media.
- Gen Xers spend the most time on social media and are most likely to purchase from a brand they follow. Target them more — even more than millennials.
- Millennials want to laugh or learn from your brand; Gen Xers want contests and deals; baby boomers want promotions and product information.
- Baby boomers will follow, but not interact. Instead, they're more likely to observe, learn and wait for a coupon.
- Regardless of age, no one likes annoying or "spammy" posts, and everyone loves a good promo code.
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