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Online Retail – Engaging all the Generations

With so many social media channels on offer, it can be difficult for a business owner to know which one to use to engage effectively with their customers and prospects.  Today we’re going to take a look at the three main generations, Generation X, the Baby Boomers and the Millennials to see what sort of content is most likely to get your message across and which social media channel you should choose.  The general age groups for these three generations are as follows:

  • Baby Boomers – born between early 1940s and 1960
  • Generation X – born between 1961 and 1980
  • Millennials – born between 1980 and the early 200s

BABY BOOMERS – although this group may not engage with brands so much on social media when compared with their younger counterparts, they are mostly on the lookout for deals and promotions when it comes to online shopping.  The Baby Boomers tend to hang out on Facebook, with 65% of them revealing that it’s their preferred social media platform.  Despite the fact that they are less likely to engage than both of the other groups, that doesn’t mean you can ignore them – you just need to give them the right type of content that will get them clicking the mouse and clacking the keyboard.  When they’re faced with the right type of content, they tend to engage quite heavily. 

GENERATION X – these people are highly purchase motivated when it comes to social media and more (70%) of these people prefer to buy from a brand that they follow and trust.   They come from a generation who particularly like to buy when they’re offered a deal or a promotion of some kind and they love entering contests to win products/services.  The content that you use to target this generation of online shoppers should be designed to make the purchase easy to complete so that you don’t risk them getting frustrated and taking their purchase to a competitor’s website instead.  You’ll need to build brand loyalty with these shoppers as they are twice as likely as other generations to unfollow a brand that offends them.  This means keeping both your content and your conversations light-hearted, interesting and enjoyable.  Avoid politics as you’re almost bound to offend somebody at some point.

MILLENNIALS – this is the group that engages most on social media platforms, especially Instagram and Facebook where they find most of their online entertainment.   A massive 30% of this group engage with a brand via social media at least once a month.  When it comes to delivering the type of content they prefer, information is at the top of the list (42% want it) while entertainment comes a close second (38%).  This is a group that values authenticity, so one of the most important things to learn is to “be real” – create content with an exclusive, behind the scenes atmosphere.  This group also sets great store on one-to-one communication and experiences, so engage with them directly, answer their questions, join in their conversations.

Research has revealed some interesting facts about online shoppers and prospects:

  • 79% want brands to respond to questions on social media in a transparent manner
  • 74% get annoyed when brands use slang on social media
  • 70% are annoyed when brands make fun of competitors
  • 53% think GIFs are cool