Close the Generational Gap with a Smarter Social Content Strategy

Close the Generational Gap with a Smarter Social Content Strategy

Author: Lizz Kannenberg / Source: Entrepreneur There’s a common assumption that social media adoption has plateaued as we approach the mi

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Close the Generational Gap with a Smarter Social Content Strategy

There’s a common assumption that social media adoption has plateaued as we approach the mid-2010s, but in fact, 15 brand new people start using social for the very first time every second. And as of January 2017, approximately 2.8 billion people around the world are using social media. That’s up 21 percent from last year with no signs of slowing down. These incredible numbers are both a blessing and a curse for brands: The more potential consumers using social, the more variations in usage and preferences to address with one comprehensive social strategy. But, brands can begin to tailor content to relevant audiences by finding similarities among large groups of consumers and addressing their wants and needs from the brand on social. Looking at generational differences in usage and preferences is a strategic place to start.

The notion that social media is only for millennials is ancient history. As the 2017 Q1 Sprout Social Index proves, more and more members of the Gen X and Baby Boomer generations are hopping on board as they discover the many benefits of connecting and communicating on social with friends, family and even their favorite brands. In the case of marketing to different age groups, knowledge of the generational nuances that influence their audience’s purchasing behaviors, decisions and habits is paramount to creating a smart social content strategy.

Nobody puts Baby Boomers in the corner.

Over the years, Baby Boomers have often been unfairly, and incorrectly, stereotyped as “technophobes” — afraid and unwilling to adapt to the emerging digital and social information age. On the contrary, this generation is more connected online than ever before. It’s the fastest growing demographic on social media, with an impressive 82.3 percent of the generation active on at least one social network. Brands would be wise to learn a little bit more about Boomers’ interests, preferences and engagement habits on social.

For one, we know that Baby Boomers like online content. In fact, they spend more time (20-plus hours per week) consuming online content than any other generation. So, where can you reach them? The social platform they spend the most time on is Facebook. After that, a smaller percentage does spend time on YouTube and Pinterest, but don’t bother with Instagram — they’re not fans. In terms of format, they respond best to images and slower-paced videos, packed with information. Save the memes and GIF-style videos for millennials. Live videos and videos with loud music don’t appeal to Boomers. Their favorite topics of interest include world news, politics and entertainment. They’re also cognizant of the life stage they’re in, and they don’t like being referred to as old or growing old. A good tip is to avoid…

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