Want to Reach Various Generations via Social? Stop Segmenting and Start Listening

generation-453136_640One of the most prominent questions on social right now is how to bridge the gap between the seniors, baby boomers and millennials. We’re all on it, right? Seniors are checking up on their grandchildren, baby boomers are reuniting with friends from high school and millennials are trendcasting. Or, at least, those are the stereotypes. Which leads us to the first problem with how companies perceive methods to reaching multiple generations on the same social platforms.

Here’s the deal → Yes, each generation has its own unique set of identifiers. Seniors are more conservative, baby boomers have the money to spend, millennials are more liberal, but also have less disposable income. Yet, for every unique identifier, each generation also shares the same traits. For example, everyone on social wants to be ‘social’.

Think of the cliche cocktail party often used to explain social media. You can have a cocktail party with an array of generations in attendance, and still have a passionate conversation. Just because a millennial is discussing the newest trends doesn’t mean a senior is disinterested and leaves the conversation. As the senior discusses healthcare and family, the millennial and baby boomer remain interested and engaged. Different generations add different perspectives to the conversation. Sure, some topics can be alienating, but, for the most part, every generation can find something relate to in most topics.

As a brand, you should be less concerned about segmenting the messages you are sending out, and more concerned with the responses you are getting in return. A lot can be learned from a baby boomer’s comment on a post, versus a senior’s. Not only can it help you guide future social posts, it can also give insight as to how products are being received by different generations.

The important thing to remember is we are all human, and most topics touch all generations, just in different ways. So do not limit your posts to only one generation. Instead sprinkle a variety of multi-generational posts throughout your content strategy, and see how surprised you are over what generations respond to what posts.

Millennials often times want to feel more adult and grown up, baby boomers want to feel young again and seniors want to relate to their grandchildren and remember their youth. If you feed only senior-related posts to seniors, they are going to feel stereotyped. So stop freaking out about how to reach segmented generations, and start understanding that a stellar post is one that not only relates to your brand and is relevant to online conversations, but also one that every generation can relate to on some level.

-Marji J. Sherman

Chili’s --> At Least They Are Doing Social Media Right

Approach Social Media Like You Have Nothing To Lose