Social Media – Generations

Picture shows a dark coloured Delorean car in the desert with the two side wing-style doors open upwardsors

Does Gen Z understand the importance of the DeLorean?

The DMC DeLorean

“Does it matter?” I’m very pleased you asked that because actually, yes it does. And when it comes to all things Social Media it definitely does. You’ve probably heard the terms Generation X or Gen Z, so you understand that the generation you were born into has a label. It matters because it can give you a shortcut to understanding where your target audience spends their time online. And how much influence that has when it comes to making consumer choices.

Generation noun

Definition: all the living things in a group that are born or start to exist at about the same time

Identifying your audience

Most marketing messages are not cross-generational. So a post that appeals to one generation may not appeal to another. It’s critical for businesses to not only identify their target market, but also to design a message that connects with their audience. With all these generational classifications – from baby boomers to Generation Z – businesses must understand who the people who make up each generation are, in order to hit the target.

Baby Boomers

Born shortly after World War II ended, this is the generation born between 1946 and 1964. Unlike today’s younger generations, baby boomers are comfortable being reached through traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers). That doesn’t mean that they can’t be reached through Social Media, because they’re very active on Facebook and YouTube. This is where they communicate with family and friends and view videos. It’s a good idea to target them on Facebook, especially if your message can be delivered in an instructive post, with links to your website or product page.

Boomers are very budget conscious, so be transparent when creating posts for this group. They will want to know in advance what they’re getting into.

Black Nokia mobile phone on a napkin, next to a green old fashioned house phone. Both are on a wooden table top

Generation X

The group of people that were born between 1965 and 1980. This generation were introduced to computers and the internet. In many ways advertising firms have skipped over Gen X in favour of millennials, when it comes to social media. But this might be a costly mistake. Because people in the Gen X category are at the prime of their lives, in terms of age and income.

This generation responds well to a multi-stream strategy, combining traditional and online promotion. Gen X crossed the divide between traditional and digital media, so still value both old and new media. They’re partial to YouTube and video content in general. They seek out instructional videos on how to solve their problems. As well as having a fascination with the ‘how it’s made’ genre of video.

Generation Y / Millennials

Born between 1981 and 1996 into a world of rapidly changing technology. While they aren’t as brand loyal as baby boomers, word-of-mouth and online reviews have a big influence on them. They mostly use YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram as social media platforms. This gives marketers additional opportunities to reach them, especially since they tend to turn to social media to research products and services. Millennials are much more likely to trust a brand with an active online presence than one without.

Generation Z

If businesses assumed millennials were tech-savvy, prepare yourself for Gen Z. This group were born between 1997 and 2012 and accounted for 40% of all spending in 2020. Technology and social media have been a part of their life right from the outset. They have no idea what a pager is, and don’t even bother trying to explain what Teletext was. But they can make a TikTok video become viral in minutes.

Two toddlers sitting on sofa while using tablet computer

The average Gen Zer received their first mobile phone at age 10.3 years. Many of them grew up playing with their parents’ mobile phones or tablets.

Of all the main social media sites Gen Z spends the most time on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. Right now TikTok is the hottest platform, gaining traction not only with this generation, but across the board. And its appeal stretches to the parents and grandparents of this generation.

The younger members of this group, the under 18s, also bring their purchasing power to pressure their parents too. If the clothing and accessories industries is your target market, then your messages need to appeal to the Gen Z audience, and win the approval of their parents.

Update 13/09/2021 : Gen Z – The Only Cohort That Doesn’t Prefer Email As A Channel

And after Gen Z?

If you’re curious to know which generation follows Gen Z, it’s Alpha (2010-2020). And I don’t think that we can fully prepare for the impact that this generation will have on our marketing choices just yet. But watch this space, because it’s going to be bigger and louder than all those that preceded them!

Focus your effort

At Formation Espoir Nature, we give you the tools to break down your target market into bite-size chunks. So you are to be able to use them in a more practical way. 

We can help you to identify your ideal client, and provide ways to build a strategy that will be attractive to them. It may turn out to be a specific generation that you need to focus your efforts on. But, the key is to know your audience and where they spend their time online. All you need to do after that is understand how to tailor your messaging to suit their preferences. But I’ll save that for another day.

Find out more

We offer a wide range of training courses and services, covering all the main social media platforms. They’re designed to help you understand your target audience and achieve your business goals. For more details visit our Social Media page, or contact us directly if you have any questions about funding, etc.

Copyright : and the author : Tonia Jowett Rencontrez l'équipe Meet the team Tonia Jowett Social Media