What Social Media Networks are Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers Using?

By Deborah Gibbs 2 min read

Which Social Media Networks Attract Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers?

To become an effective social media marketer, you need to know where your audiences prefer congregating, and it helps to have an understanding of age-based demographics. Data published in early 2017 reveals that generational preferences go further than you might expect in the social media arena.

Examining What Different Age Groups Like

A recent Sprout Social report showed that although Facebook is by far the dominant social network by user preference, it’s not universally loved by all. Among young Millennials below the age of 24, Instagram holds top ranking, and the percentage of each generation that favors Facebook increases with user age. The popularity of platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, on the other hand, skews young.

How Do Preferences Impact User Behaviors?

Comparing some of the less-popular social networks may shed light onto brand engagement trends. For instance, YouTube outranks Twitter and Pinterest among all three generations. Gen Xers and Millennials are almost two times as prone to follow brands on social media.

Could the fact that Baby Boomers seem comfortable sticking to Facebook, Google+ and YouTube have something to do with their tendency not to follow brands? After all, you can utilize these networks without following other users more easily than you might on Twitter or Pinterest. Such theories are worth considering as you perform outreach.

Targeting Platforms Effectively

The report also showed that all generations have hot-button issues that make them unfollow brands. From being responsive to not publishing spammy or outright offensive posts, firms need to handle their followers with care.

If there’s one key takeaway from this kind of research, it’s that your marketing methodology needs to account for evolving audience preferences across many outreach channels. Unless you’re content with focusing solely on one limited demographic, you’ll benefit from branching out.

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