Which Generation Are You Talking To?

One of the most important parts of effective blogging and social media is to properly identify your audience. If you know what generation you’re talking to, you can better speak their language and engage their interest.

A recent report identified the social media behaviors of the three generations: Baby boomers (born 1946-1964), Generation X (born 1965-1980), and Millennials (born 1981 and after). What they learned can help you target your audience and engage them based on the way they use social media.

The Baby Boomer Generation

If you are targeting older adults, use Twitter. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the study revealed that Boomers tweeted an average of 15 times every day, more than Millennials and GenX combined. That’s partially because they engage in Twitter chats and “tweetups” (in-person meetings planned online).

You can get in on the conversation by scheduling times when your experts will be online to answer questions asked with a given hashtag. For example, a real estate lawyer may take advantage of the recent Metro-Detroit flood and engage Boomers by hosting an “AMA” (Ask Me Anything) with the hashtag #floodlawDetroit. The lawyer can give general information and encourage people with specific questions to call for a consultation.

Boomers also respond well to brand promotions and giveaways. Consider offering a discount or free consultations to people who follow you on Twitter or use a particular hashtag.

Generation X

If you’re trying to reach people in their 30s and 40s, stay positive. Gen Xers engage the most with brands that have positive messaging and a strong social presence. They share inspirational messages and photos.

To take advantage of this trend, try to spin your headlines and tweets in a positive direction. Focus on success stories when you can and use pictures with inspirational quotes for your initial follower contact.

Gen Xers also use hashtags to follow politics and news. If you are writing or tweeting about current events, make sure to find the appropriate hashtag to connect into that conversation.

Millennials

Unexpectedly, the youngest generation in the study is also the most nostalgic. They often tweet about TV shows, music, and movies from their childhood in the ’90s and early 2000s.

If you’re trying to reach people in their 20s and early 30s, consider tying your blogs and tweets to the icons of that era. For example, if you are a family lawyer you could ask “Are today’s families more like the Cosbys or the Bundys?”

Millenials also respond well to lists and quizzes. Consider building in a “Test Your Knowledge” quiz to engage readers.

You need to tighten your focus if you want your social media efforts to be successful. What will be appealing to older adults won’t engage 20-somethings. Before you tweet, consider whose attention you’re trying to get and what methods might be most successful. If you need help launching your social media presence, contact blogging coach Lisa Schmidt today.

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