When did Facebook stop becoming cool? Probably when your parents joined and you gave them that mercy add of their friend request.
Social media websites and platforms have only been around for the last 10-15 years but it has made a huge impact on our day to day lives. From the way we communicate to the way we travel, social media’s presence is ever growing. Because there are so many different forms of social media, the way it is being consumed is so vast that there are many differences among users by age and location. So why is this important and what value does it give to you? Knowing the way each demographic consumes media has different business implications and changes the way business functions.
Let’s start with looking at how different age groups use social media. There are four main age groups that we are going to look at. Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964, Generation X: Born 1965 to 1976, Millennials or Gen Y: Born 1977 to 1995 and Gen Z or Centennials: Born 1996 and later.
In a report created by the Pew Research Center, Andrew Perrin describes that although Millennials are still the most likely to use social media, usage among Baby Boomers as well as Generation X has increased significantly to where 65% of that population has adopted and currently use at least one form of social media. Furthermore among the ages, the way they consume and utilize that media is extremely different.
Baby Boomers as well as Generation X have been found to share the most content on Facebook and social media, and around 18% share content more than once daily. Baby Boomers are 19% more likely to share content compared to all other age groups and the most popular forms of social media among Baby Boomers and Generation X are Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/facebook-sharing-content/
Millennials are still the most likely to use social media with about 90% having presence on at least one form of social media platform and their demographic has the highest usage rate on 4 of the 5 main social media platforms(Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest). . Facebook’s largest user base is Millenians with the highest usage rate, but Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers usage is steadily growing to be on par/ equal to that of Millennials and it is predicted that much higher activity will stemming from the older generations. Additionally, Millennials are more interested in creating original/ user generated content to try and brand themselves, and are moving towards platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat to do so.
Lastly Generation Z is a completely different social media users. Most of Generation Z does not have Facebook and mainly use platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and messenger apps. Furthermore, individuality is common theme and value that Gen Z values and thus platforms such as YouTube, Kik, and the now non-existent Vine were extremely popular among Gen Z.
Here, as well as the beginning of this post, is a highly informative info graphic that sheds more detail into each generational use of the different social media platforms.
So why is this usage important?
By knowing how each age group acts on social media, marketing towards them can be much more targeted an effective. For example if I wanted to sell a product or gain brand awareness for a product geared toward Generation Z, I would not want to be placing ads on Facebook where their user-base is weak. Knowing your audience and huge and by writing this I hope to help provide better insight into each age’s mind.