How and Where to Best Reach Different Generations on Social Media [Infographic] – Updated!

How and Where to Best Reach Different Generations on Social Media

I asked a client, “Who’s you’re target market?” He replied, “Everyone!” Yikes! Unfortunately, not like back in the day of the Yellow Pages, you can’t place an ad or two in the local paper or the YP and expect to get results. Each social media network has its own audience — a distinct user base. Understanding the different generations and how they use social media, is crucial for effective marketing.

Your Marketing Strategies should Reflect Your Audience

The particular client I mentioned wants to reach a broad audience of different age groups and occupations. Which is fine, however, you market to someone under 40 (Gen Z & Millennials) differently than you would to someone over 40 (Gen X & Baby Boomers) — and on different social networks.

An interesting statistic is that the average global user has 8.8 social media accounts.

  • Gen Z – 9.9
  • Millennials – 10.1
  • Gen X – 7.3
  • Baby Boomers – 5.3

Digital consumers are now spending an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes PER DAY on social networks and messaging.


In a nutshell, here’s how, when and where to reach each of the generations:

Gen Z (<25):

Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube — they prefer to see real people (authenticity) in marketing rather than celebrities. (Go figure.) Use short, positive content — mostly videos. Best time is early morning and late afternoon.

Social Networks have surpassed search engines as the go-to product research channel for Gen Z.


Millennials (26 – 40):

Facebook (their primary news source), and YouTube. They’ll skip video ads as soon as they can. 87% own smartphones and will turn to social media when making purchasing decisions. Post relevant, credible content, that they care about–however, don’t make the videos look like ads! Millennials like to use social media to interact with brands.

Gen X (41 – 55):

Facebook (They spend almost 7 hours on there a week!) and YouTube. Reach them between 9pm and midnight. They are more brand-loyal than other age groups. Gen Xers have the 2nd largest disposable income and they go for nostalgia and comfort. Use videos and visual content with straight-forward clicks to website. Moreover, they prefer to use a computer rather than a mobile device.

Baby Boomers (56 – 76):

These folks prefer email to communicate, yet, they spend 11 hours or more on Facebook each week! They are vocal and opinionated and prefer slower, informational video content on YouTube.

They prefer the search engines for product research. And they show the highest growth in Instagram.

However, not everyone falls perfectly into each of these groups. Individual preferences will differ. That’s why you need to clearly define your target markets’ personas, taking into consideration their habits and preferences first (Get a FREE Workbook!).

This infographic from Animoto breaks down the generations with some interesting stats…

(Check out my key marketing strategies at the bottom…)

Key Marketing Strategy Takeaways

  1. Videos are the way to go!
  2. Feature your target audience in your videos. If you’re trying to reach Millennials, feature a millennial!
  3. Make sure your YouTube channel is well-branded and optimized for search.

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself…

If your answers are all satisfactory, then congrats! You’ve got your digital marketing act together. If not, then you need to schedule a FREE 15-minute call with me so I can review your efforts and guide you in the right direction.

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By Giselle Aguiar

Giselle Aguiar is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist and trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields.