Baby Boomers and Gen Xers Are On Social Media Too. Here's How to Find Them.

Social media isn't just for Millennials and Gen Zers. Here's where to find Baby Boomers and Gen Xers on social media and what they want from businesses they follow.

Alison Martin
05/16/2018
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Social Media network preference by generation graph
Source: Sprout Social

For many retailers and interior designers, Baby Boomers and Generation Xers make up the majority of their clientele. So why focus on a social media strategy if only Millennials and Gen Zers use these platforms?

Not true. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers love social media, too, and what they’re doing online may surprise you. Here’s what you need to know about both generations’ social media habits, plus a few tips on how to reach them. 

Social Media Network Preference by Generation

social media network preference by generation graph from Sprout Social

Facebook is the clear winner among Baby Boomers and Gen Xers with Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube getting some attention as well, but no other platform wins quite as much favor. The social media behemoth also has a strong advertising platform that allows you to target certain demographics (age, location, gender).

If you’ve never used Facebook ads or need some help, check out our Facebook Ads Manager series here.

Behaviors on social media

From the graph above, it's clear that both generations favor Facebook above all, but that doesn't mean they use it in the same way. Each generation has their own set of unique behaviors.

Baby boomers on social media

- 16 percent spend 11 hours or more on Facebook per week.

- 84 percent on social media prefer Facebook.

- Boomers are 28 percent more likely than other generations to interact with questionnaires and polls — they like to be heard.

- They have an average of 4.6 social media accounts.

Gen Xers on social media

- Gen Xers spend nearly seven hours on Facebook per week — that's more than Millennials.

- They have between five and eight social media accounts on average.

- They prefer to access social media between 8 p.m. and midnight.

- 58 percent go to YouTube to find out information (think how-to-videos).

How to market to Boomers and Xers through social media

So you know where Boomers and Xers are spending their time on social media. Now how do you reach them? Don't discount social media just yet. Here are three tips to get you started.

- Advertise on Facebook and Instagram. Both generations love Facebook, and while Instagram may be more for the younger crowd, it’s owned by Facebook, which means you can advertise on both simultaneously and hit all your major demographics. Problem solved.

- Baby Boomers love to voice their opinion. Include a call-to-action on your posts to encourage more comments and shares.

- Gen Xers want usable, useful content delivered through social media. Consider using Facebook Live to create simple how-to videos.

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