When it comes to social media marketing, there are many factors that contribute to success, including quality content, algorithms, engagement, and peak posting times. When playing the social media marketing game, the best strategy for success is knowing where your target audience resides on the social playing field and catering heavily and consistently to those platforms. Each generation leans toward varying social media platforms for a number of different reasons. Learn which social media channels cater to your target audience (and why) to devise a stronger strategy for turning likes and follows into conversions and sales. 

Baby Boomers  (Born 1946 to 1964) 

Baby Boomers favor Facebook over other social media platforms. A Pew survey found that about two-thirds of 50- to 64-year-olds (68%) and almost half (46%) of those aged 65 or older are the most active on Facebook. The older generation prefers sharing and reading articles and other forms of text-based content, which is why Facebook is so attractive to them. They are invested in traditional media, so marketing through concise messaging and informative content is appealing to them. 

The boomer's second pick for a social media platform is Pinterest. Pinterest is appealing to the older population due to strong home ownership and spending power stats within the generation. Pinterest has shareable text-form content full of DIY home improvement projects that appeal to the 'do-it-yourself' generation

Generation X (Born 1965 to 1980)

Generation X witnessed the invention of the internet and bridged the gap between traditional and digital media. They seek out content in both video and text form due to their appreciation of both established and new media, making Facebook, YouTube and Twitter their preferred social media platform choices. 

Facebook covers traditional media content streams that Generation X loves to consume. YouTube delivers digital-forward media through soundbites and informative video, and Twitter combines the two. 

Millennials/ Generation Y (Born 1981 to 1996) 

Millennials were born into the cusp of the digital age. Due to the rapid proliferation of digital media outlets during this generation's lifetime, their preferred channels are all over the map. 

 Millennials share a love of tech and being the first "digitally native" generation. Because of this,  Millennials are most active on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The customer journey of a millennial is driven by online reviews and word of mouth recommendations. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube cater to this demographic through strategic advertising and the use of loyalty driven influencers to reach their target audiences. 

Millennials are also the most prominent generation on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the most sought after B2B social media marketing channel to distribute content. It is used by 60% of people ages 25-34. 

Generation Z (Born 1996 to 2012) 

Gen Z was born well into the digital age. These kids grew up playing with their parent's iPhones. This generation prefers visuals and short, motion-based content. Gen Z prefers Instagram, TokTok, Snapchat, and YouTube. Gen Z is drawn to the hyper-personalization brought by these platforms. 

Gen Z tends to want to consume as much content as possible in the shortest amount of time. Gen Z also favors video that supports social causes and will make purchasing decisions based on the impact that a product or brand will have on a cause they support. 

Understanding your audience is critical to success on social media. Trying to advertise equally across all social media platforms will cause average or below-average conversion rates. Generations consume content and respond to marketing tactics differently on each platform. Play into where your audience is active, and how they respond to content, adjusting your marketing initiatives accordingly to drive higher quality conversions.