Tips for Online Engagement with Different Generations

Foolish is the word most appropriately applied to brands that try to digitally interact with Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers in the same manner. As communications professionals and marketers, it’s critical not only knowing the key audiences to reach, but how they want to be interacted with, and adapt the approach accordingly. A recent […]

Foolish is the word most appropriately applied to brands that try to digitally interact with Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers in the same manner. As communications professionals and marketers, it’s critical not only knowing the key audiences to reach, but how they want to be interacted with, and adapt the approach accordingly. A recent […]

Foolish is the word most appropriately applied to brands that try to digitally interact with Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers in the same manner. As communications professionals and marketers, it’s critical not only knowing the key audiences to reach, but how they want to be interacted with, and adapt the approach accordingly.

A recent set of data from eMarketer shows the difference in digital practice across these generations. Most findings were to be expected.  In summary, digital is massive and only getting bigger. The generation leading the way, in terms of early adopters, in digital technology is Millennials.

Millennials live on social networks, and make up the largest audience of Facebook and Twitter. They also love mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. You can see the popularity of these networks and gadgets decline as the audience ages.

No engaging campaign should attempt to reach everyone. That’s called spam, and it doesn’t work. The obvious conclusion from the data provided by eMarketer suggests that Millennials seek engagement, while Baby Boomers yearn for content.

When attempting to communicate with your audience, you must first identify who your audience is. You can’t speak to everyone at once, not efficiently anyway. Boomers want quality content that serves a purpose, whether that purpose is entertainment or information gathering. Boomers go to their computers and mobile devices with intent.

Millennials are far different. Millennials want interaction and a voice that is heard either by friends or brands. Millennials frequently take to their devices with impulse and no specific end-point in mind. They may visit one of their social networks, and continue on to visit sites that they never thought about going to. Millennials will often follow digital, social interaction wherever it may lead.

If you have what Boomers want, they will engage with you, but you must vie for the attention of Millennials. Knowing who you are attempting to communicate with will help you refine strategies and tactics and ultimately help you provide your audience with what they want.

Generation X is a harder demographic to pinpoint. They are more decisive than Millennials, but are more likely to digitally interact than Baby Boomers. If Millennials are early adopters, Gen X is the mainstream that lags behind ever-so slightly.

The fact remains, each generation wants to be digitally engaged, but engagement differs between every generation. Know who you’re communicating with, and what they expect from you in order to see the most ROI and success for your brand.

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