Marketing to different generations through social media

by in Digital Marketing, Social Media

There are currently an estimated 2.3 billion users on social media. Some are catching up on Facebook, posting selfies on Instagram or watching those deliciously bad foodie videos on Twitter. Knowing what type of people visit and why they go to these platforms is essential to your marketing strategy. Where do you even start when it comes to your marketing plan?


Generational marketing is a marketing strategy that uses generational segmentation in a marketing plan. A generation can be defined as a number of people born within a similar span of time. They are shaped by their age, life events and trends.

Generational marketing means that different techniques will be applied to different groups of people. It can be hard to wrap your head around these many different groups but we’ve broken them down and will show you how to target them.


This generation is very traditional in most aspects of their life. Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964, and the generations below them have taught them how to use technology. Now, 65% of adults use social networking sites, so they are slowly embracing the tech around them. Baby boomers like to use Facebook to reconnect with old friends and family or to reignite old relationships.

Interestingly, this generation spends the most on technology such as the top end internet or the latest smartphone. They do not, however, engage with salesy Facebook marketing ads and are least likely to make a purchase on their smartphones.


  • They tend to stick with what they know and love, so take advantage of their brand loyalty.
  • As they are willing to spend some money commodities, go for the upsell. How will that particular product make their life better or easier?
  • They respond better to traditional marketing tactics such as newspaper or TV ads.
  • Baby Boomers like to see or talk to a real person before they make a purchase.
  • They mainly use Facebook to reconnect with lost friends. So they do not like Facebook spam. Don’t intrude on their lives too much.
  • Market full price or top shelf products to them, baby boomers like to splurge on themselves.


The group of people who fall into Gen X are the smallest generation. Born between 1965 and 1980, Gen X are the bridge between Millennials and Baby Boomers. This generation is currently juggling child care, home ownership and careers, so they are extremely busy. More than 80% are on Facebook and Twitter. They grew up without online shopping but they still embrace it, as well as still shopping in store. They also have the most unplanned purchases.


  • As this generation are saving up for lots of large purchases such as businesses, homes, university or retirement, they love a good discount. Market coupons or deals towards them.
  • Although supposedly “out-dated”, email marketing is great to target this generation. They’re constantly on their emails for work so it’s natural that they would react positively to retail or sales emails.
  • They are less prone to go with trends, so steer clear from focusing on these.
  • Gen X are more likely to buy a service/product that benefits society or the environment.
Young man using smartphone

Millennials check their phones an average of 150 times a day


This generation, unlike Gen X, like to follow trends. 34% turn to social media when making purchasing decisions. They are committed social media users, 87% now own smartphones and engage with them 150 times a day. They don’t in-house shop as frequently, preferring to make their purchases online. Although avid social media users, 59% say they only watch adverts up until they can skip them. This generation relies heavily on recommendations and reviews from social media and blogs.


  • Gen Ys respond well to influences, so focus on a brand ambassador who is trustworthy and memorable.
  • Play around with subjects they care about, they can be more vocal and interested in these.
  • Facebook is their favoured network with 86% signed up, however a significant 34% of young Millennials use Instagram daily.
  • Add value to your social media. 5 out of 6 use social media to contact businesses, so make sure you’re readily available.
  • They rely on ratings and reviews to make their decisions, so include testimonials where you can in your content.


Generation Z are born between 1996 and 2010 and are known as Post Millennials or the ‘Internet Generation’. As the most digital orientated generation, they have a shorter attention span when engaging with content: you have just 8 seconds to engage with Gen Zs on social media. To inspire Gen Zs, empowering video content is best as 42% feel social media has an impact on how they feel. Therefore, using real people instead of celebrities is key to marketing to Gen Zs: 62% would rather see real people.


  • Content should be kept short, don’t write a huge post as they won’t read it.
  • Video content is most favoured, so try and include this in the majority of your marketing plan
  • Be time aware. Gen Zs are most active on Thursdays and Fridays and when they wake up and finish school or college.
  • Snap exclusive offers are key.
  • Keep things brief, relevant to them and authentic. This will have the most attraction and impact.

It’s important to know which generation you are trying to appeal to when beginning your marketing strategy. Ask yourself what inspires which generation the most?

There are a number of different aspects of social media and generational marketing. These can have a huge effect on the success of your marketing campaign so it’s important to know what these are and how to utilise them.