When many businesses start a social media strategy – they hone in on what their competitors are doing, what the current famous experts are telling them to do, or they stick with platforms that make them feel comfortable. While all of these items can contribute to a direction for an overall strategy, there is one major component missing from these sources: What does your audience want?

Today, we’re dealing with three generations with major purchasing power: Baby Boomers, GenXers, and Millennials. Before you begin creating a strategy for your content, it’s important to identify which generation fits your audience demographic. Then, create a plan that reaches them where they are.

Content Consumption: Baby Boomers

Surprisingly, Baby Boomers spend more time consuming content online than any other generation. However, they are particular about where they get the content, how they share it, and which brands they choose to trust.

Baby Boomers tend to review their content from a laptop or desktop rather than mobile devices.

Baby Boomers primarily use digital media to stay current on news and political updates. In fact, Baby Boomers seek content about world news 94.7% more than Millennials.

Content Consumption: GenXers

GenXers and Millennials are pretty much neck in neck regarding the time they spend consuming content online. Unlike Baby Boomers, GenXers are becoming more mobile-friendly. However, many GenXers still use laptop and desktop devices more often than mobile devices.

What are GenXers reading these days? The top ranking content for this demographic was healthy living and wellness information.

Content Consumption: Millennials

Millennials are the most mobile-friendly demographic. In fact, 52% of users who use mobile devices as their primary way to view content are Millennials.

What is the top-ranking content for Millennials? Tech-related content is extremely popular with this demographic, followed by content fueled by nostalgia (think Throwback Thursday).

Key Stats

Across all three demographics, Facebook still reigns supreme in content sharing – by far. Users across all three generations are 5-40x more likely to share content on Facebook than other popular platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

If you are targeting GenXers, Twitter may be a solid option for your strategy. Members of Generation X are 70.4% more likely to use Twitter as a primary content sharing platform than Baby Boomers. At the same time, Baby Boomers are 92% more likely to use Google+ than Millennials.

Another important statistic is that 76% of all three generations find content posted by other consumers to be more honest than brand content. So – when creating your strategy, you need to engage that audience to leave comments and reviews on your platforms to back up your brand messaging.

Contributor: Erika Heeren is the founder of Heeren Content & Strategy and serves as Project Manager for Wright Stuff Radio. A 14-year marketing and public relations veteran, she has a professional focus on integrated media spanning 16 different industries. She works with small businesses and non-profit organizations to provide affordable, professional-quality content development, marketing, and public relations services.

Heeren has been featured in NextGen Military Spouse, Veteran on the Move, Wright Stuff Radio, and Social Media Week.

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