By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on November 7, 2018
Filed under: Economic Development, Social Media

How to engage multiple generations on social media

At the recent IEDC Conference, I spoke on a panel giving marketing strategies, and someone asked:

How can you build an active audience of various generations on social media?

Maybe you have this question too, if you have multiple generations in your target audiences. You might be trying to reach everyone from internship seeking 20-year-olds to Baby Boomer CEOs. So how can you speak to all of them on social media?

With all marketing, a rule of thumb is to start by focusing on just one target audience, and then you can grow from there. Social media makes this easier for you – because different social media sites often attract different generations.

This is true for sites like Snapchat and Instagram, which attract more millennials and Gen Z.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, you can find everyone from Gen Z to Baby Boomers. However, there are fewer Gen Z’s on Facebook, and they spend less time there.

Be strategic with social media by knowing which target audiences you’ll find on which networks, and then target specific audiences on those sites. (If you aren’t sure where to start, check out our #EconDev Social Media Guide, which shares stats on the 6 top social media networks. Get the guide here.)

This doesn’t mean you need to focus on building a large social media presence on every site in order to connect with different audiences. Instead, you can take advantage of paid advertising opportunities to strategically target a specific age group on a specific site (like leading a Snapchat filter campaign for college students in your community, or running Facebook ads about upcoming events for local business owners).

If you’re focused on building an active audience, remember that it’s all about consistent authentic content. The definition of what content is valuable to an audience varies depending on what they need. So even if you’re talking to multiple audiences, you still need to learn about each of them in depth. Put yourself in their shoes. What do they want or need? What is supportive of them?

Remember – it’s not always the information you want to push out – it’s about the information they want to receive. And, it’s about how they want to be spoken to. For example, do they prefer super casual? Short and sweet? Concise and still professional?

If you want to target multiple generations on one social media channel, give them each consistent content in language that they will easily receive.

’Til next time,
Sandy

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