When developing a marketing strategy, many companies rely too heavily on generational generalizations to target an audience. For instance, all Gen Zers are typically considered to be digital natives, so the impulse is to market to them accordingly, not realizing that some of them may not have the same access to technology as their peers. Such an approach may be seen as a shallow attempt at engagement. Your existing followers won’t take you seriously, and potential followers won’t even take notice. If you want to generate leads, your marketing strategy will need to tap into the interests of many different generations, while remaining authentic.
The most crucial factor to remember is that although generational categories exist, each person within a given demographic is there simply by virtue of their birth date. They are all people with individual perspectives, cultures, and experiences that shape who they are as a person and as a consumer. Understanding the generalities made about each generation, however, can be a good starting point when building your marketing strategy, but you should not stop there.
This is the youngest group of social media users, but don’t underestimate them merely because of their age. They have grown up in a digital age and are not only incredibly savvy but have grown up with the benefit of having any piece of information they desire literally at their fingertips. They are adept at recognizing insincerity, so to reach them, be concise and authentic. The typical Gen Zer is less brand loyal and more experience loyal. And the use of video is a must, although this is less generational and more of a cross-generational trend. Best platforms: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter.
Millennials seem to get the blame for almost everything these days, but that doesn’t diminish their power as the most influential generation on social media. Millennials are the group pushing for real-time engagement, because they aren’t just interested in products. They desire a conversation, and they are willing to be loyal to brands who have earned their trust. This group tends to rely heavily on reviews, so don’t let negative comments go unanswered. Respond quickly and honestly to this group and focus on building a relationship. Best platforms: Snapchat, Instagram.
Many marketers make the mistake of forgetting this generation that fills the gap between millennials and baby boomers. This group may not be as influential as millennials or as large as Gen Zers, but they have almost as much spending power as baby boomers. Research shows that they love to hit the share button, so if you’re looking to generate leads, capitalize on visuals to get your message across. Best platforms: Facebook, Instagram.
This generation is stereotyped as being technologically-challenged, but as a group, they have adapted quickly. Baby boomers have the most spending power of any generation, and most have at least one social media account. They aren’t that unlike millennials when it comes to having a voice, but their preference will still lean towards email. You’ll want to promote a newsletter with this group, so don’t slack on the email sign-ups. Best platform: Facebook.
Noting key differences between each generation will help guide your marketing strategy, but you should always remember that you are still marketing to individual people who don’t want to be lumped into the assumptions of any brand, so keep your strategy targeted, but flexible. It’s also okay to recognize that one generation may be more interested in your services than another, and your marketing strategy should reflect that.