How each generation is engaging on social media

Facebook is now the social network of choice for multi-generations!

According to a recent survey by Sprout Social

  • 7 in 10 Gen Xers will likely purchase something from a brand they follow
  • 30% of Millennials engage with a brand on social at least once a month
  • 60% of Baby Boomers are looking for promotions on social

Every Generation Is the Facebook Generation

With more than one billion active users, Facebook, which began as a collegiate social community, has graduated. Across all three generations, respondents identified Facebook (43.6%) as their social network of choice. Collectively, respondents found Facebook to be 29% more popular than Instagram—the respondents’ nearest, cross-generational preference.

Facebook’s widespread popularity is nearly identical among Gen X (64.7%) and Baby Boomers (65.2%). When it comes to Millennials, however, our survey findings weren’t as distinct.

What do consumers expect from your brand?

To know what consumers are expecting from your brand on social media, you need to understand your audience’s demographics. Your marketing department can’t put a price tag on social without insight into the generational nuances that influence your audience’s purchasing behaviours, decisions and habits.

To comprehend how each generation is engaging with brands on social and what that means for your business, Sprout Social surveyed 1,000 Millennials (ages 18-34), Gen Xers (ages 34-54) and Baby Boomers (ages 55+). The results revealed a few commonalities and shed light on the differences between the behaviours, perceptions and expectations of each generation.

What Provokes a Generation to Follow a Brand?

While gaining an understanding of the preferred social network of Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers is interesting, that insight alone won’t drive return on investment. You need to dig deeper. To effectively apply an understanding of social media consumption habits by generation, you first need to determine how likely an audience segment is to actually opt-in and follow your brand on social. The survey found that Millennials and Gen Xers are twice as likely to follow a brand on social as Baby Boomers are.

Following Your Brand to the Bank

People are following your brand on social, but do the thumbs up, shares and Retweets correlate to profit? Across generations, 62% of people said they are likely or somewhat likely to purchase a product from a brand they follow on social media.

Nearly 7 in 10 Gen Xers will likely purchase something from a brand they follow. That number dips to a still-impressive 60% of Millennials and 51% of Baby Boomers.

Report Download

To download the full Sprout Social Index report Click Here