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SME Owners – How To Engage with Generation X

If you’re a small to medium enterprise (SME) owner here in the UK, chances are you’re already familiar with the importance of an online presence.  Indeed, you may do most of your business through your website instead of a traditional bricks and mortar outlet.  We’re all aware that 21st Century businesses need a website and effective online visibility in order to compete on a level playing field but with all your competitors online too, staying ahead of the game is essential.  Today we’re going to take a look at the shopping habits of Generation X, those who were born after the “Baby Boomers” during the period of 1965 to 1984. 

A recent survey discovered that Generation X is tech savvy and used to doing stuff online.  They want more technology based tools to monitor their financial affairs.  Generation X members are approaching the middle of their working careers and potential peak earning years.  Over the next 30 years there is likely to be a major transfer of wealth from Baby Boomers to Generation X (around $30 trillion) and their wealth is predicted to more than triple by 2030, making them a great target audience for online retailers.

When it comes to online shopping, Generation X-ers believe in research.  They’ve been spending more time on the internet than any other age group, most of which happens on a desktop or laptop.  However, by the end of last year, 82% of Generation X-ers had smartphones, so you’ll need to make sure your website is both user-friendly and mobile-friendly.  This means that responsive design really is essential in order to cater to your audiences of all ages.  While Google may have deemed your web pages mobile-friendly, that doesn’t necessarily mean it provides a great user experience.  Make sure that your design has room for large buttons and calls to action and decrease the number of text blocks on the content and product pages if possible.

Generation X-ers tend to be sceptical by nature, questioning everything.  This means that they are particularly sensitive to being “sold” on a product or service.  Make sure your social media strategy shows the value of your products or services.  Generation X-ers check Facebook daily and this is a great platform for you to communicate with them to promote your community-driven, quality agenda.  Post engaging content often enough to ensure your audience is engaged to build a powerful army of brand advocates who will share your posts with friends and family.  Don’t make the mistake of using social media channels solely to advertise your products and services – this just won’t cut it. 

Engage with your audience, asking and answering questions, joining in with online debates and sharing stuff you find online that would be relevant to your audience.  Do a regular “Friday Funday” post, sharing something funny that you’ve found online with your audience to keep them coming back on a regular basis.  Publish “how-tos” and advice on how to use your products, make videos if possible and upload to YouTube, sharing links to them on your social media profiles.  Engaging with Generation X is a great opportunity to attract more potential customers and build your business.