How to Get Noticed by Each Generation on Social Media


After a fun day out with family and friends, I came home, put my exhausted kids to bed and spent the rest of the evening checking my social media pages for likes and comments. We had posted pictures throughout the day and every time those little notification boxes popped up on my phone, I found myself opening Facebook and Instagram and scrolling through my feeds. Social media is an incredibly consuming part of our society. In a recent global survey, of all the adults online, 79% of them are on Facebook, 32% are on Instagram and 24% are on Twitter.

Knowing the trends of each generation is vital to any good marketing strategy, and social media is a huge component for all generations. As technology evolves, our attention spans are decreasing rapidly. The average attention span of someone born in Generation Z is a mere 8 seconds. Social Media is the quick way to capture someone’s attention as they are scrolling through their feed, checking for likes and sharing a funny video. The method to being heard through all the noise is different for each generation.

Let’s take a look at what captures each generation’s attention on social media.

Generation Z (born 1996-2010):

Most used social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat

Ahhh, teenagers. Generation Z may not have much spending power just yet, but they are the first generation born with technology in their face. With such short attention spans, brands need their social media content to be bold, concise, relevant and authentic to stand out. Generation Z is more aware of the realities of the world than their millennial predecessors, and are motivated by real people and global diversity. Social media has a huge impact on how they feel about themselves. Visuals and videos are essential in capturing their attention, which is why mobile phone apps like Snapchat and Instagram Stories (which disappear after 24 hours) are so popular.

Millennials (born 1981-1995):

Most used social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn

Being an idealistic millennial with a smartphone and a penchant for online shopping, I can advocate for the fact that millennials are heavily influenced by authentic brands on social media. About 41% of millennials log into Facebook every single day, while 87% of millennials own smartphones and engage with it 150 times a day, on average. With this much thumb-swiping, they are often on social media, and utilize peer ratings and reviews to decide where to eat, where to shop and what to do. Brands should focus on topics millennials care about and post content that is relevant, memorable and unique. Millennials are currently the largest generation with the most buying power, so brands would be wise to target them on popular social media channels and utilize user-generated content as much as possible.

Generation X (born 1965-1980):

Most used social media platforms: Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube

Generation Xers, though the smallest generation, are at a time in their lives where they have established themselves in their careers and in their families. They are attracted to posts that appeal to luxury and comfort. Brands should focus on content that is straightforward and visually engaging. Gen Xers are also the most likely generation to share content, so including a Call to Action is a must.

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964):

Most used social media platforms: Facebook, Pinterest

Baby Boomers have become very present on Facebook. In fact, 84% of all Baby Boomers on social media prefer Facebook over all other social media channels. Baby Boomers have a lot of time on their hands, and they spend a lot of it online. They like to engage in posts, and are the most likely to respond to quizzes or other interactive content. Baby Boomers prefer relevant content that is informative and allows them to voice their opinions. They also tend to prefer email communication, so using your social media sites to encourage a newsletter sign-up is a great way to stay on their radar.

In this digital age we live in, knowing your target audience and demographic is imperative to getting your brand noticed on social media. Getting to know the generation that is most likely to utilize your brand will help you develop content that is relevant, engaging and memorable. Need help marketing on social media to a specific generation? We can help!! Follow our blogs and sign up for our newsletter for more information and learn the ins and outs of marketing on social media!

Becky Martin is a content writer with a passion for creativity, and also has an extensive background in psychology. In addition to writing, Becky is an avid reader who collects old books, loves to sing and travel, and drinks way too much coffee! She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband Jeff and adorable sons Charlie and Lucas.

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