Targeting Your Audience: From the Boomers to Gen Y (& Everything In Between!)


Baby Boomer is a term referring to a person who was born between 1946 and 1964. The Baby Boomer generation makes up a substantial portion of the North American population, representing nearly 20% of the American public.1

 Most businesses dismiss the Boomers on Social Media. Thinking someone in their 60s isn’t sitting on Facebook or scrolling through pins.
  • 91% of Baby Boomers have some sort of Social Media account.2 Boomers are also known as the “silver surfers,”3 because they will seek out new platforms to use and navigate them to reach out to others. They favor Facebook and are quite vocal about what they want and how they want it. Boomers spend 27 hours a week on the internet (2 hours more than 16 to 34-year-olds.)4 Boomers are more likely to act based on something they see on Social Media.
  • 36% of Boomers 65 years and older use Facebook.5
  • 75% of Boomers use Facebook daily.5
  • 58% are more likely to visit a company’s website after seeing them on Facebook.2
  • Boomers are most likely to complete a questionnaire or poll.2
  • 95% of Boomers prefer email over messenger2 (so send those email newsletters to these folks.)


  • Use interactive content.
  • Share content that is relevant and offers information they can use.
  • Encourage newsletter sign-ups (and send an email newsletter.)
  • Ask for their opinions, they are very opinionated and not afraid to share their views.


Generation X, or Gen X, is the demographic cohort following the baby boomers. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use starting birth years ranging from the early-to-mid 1960s and ending birth years ranging from the late 1970s to early 1980s.6

The latch key kids, Generation X is the smallest of the generations, but that does not mean they should be ignored. Generation X has the most disposable income (after the Boomers) and they are at a point where comfort and luxury are top priorities.

Generation X is also the generation that spends the most time on Social Media (even more than the Millennials!)

  • 84% of Gen Xers have brand loyalty (the highest of all the generations.)2
  • 58% use YouTube.2
  • 48% of Gen Xers use Facebook regularly.7
  • Facebook is the most popular site for Gen Xers.8
  • 87% of online Gen Xers have purchased something online.8
  • Gen Xers prefer to access Social Media between 8 pm and Midnight.2


  • Be straightforward and provide easily understood directions.
  • Provide a good call-to-action.
  • Post updates between 8 pm and Midnight.
  • Beef up your reviews on the Social Sites.
  • Gen Xers are most likely to share content.
  • Offer this generation luxury products.
  • Video based content works great with this group.
  • Provide direct click-throughs to websites.



Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years.

Millennials are the most idealistic of the bunch. They are extremely vocal about their beliefs and prefer to react and engage in real-time. They also respond best to brand advocates and influencers. Millennials value ratings and reviews.

This generation is also the most influential.

  • 41% use Facebook daily.2
  • 34% of the older half of the Millennials use Instagram daily (25% of the younger half uses it daily.)2
  • 59% only watch Social Media ads until they can skip through them.2
  • 87% own a smartphone that they engage with, on average, 150 times per day.2
  • 5 out of 6 prefer to use Social Media to contact a business.2
  • 43% prefer brands reach them through email.10
  • 38% of LinkedIn’s user base are Millennials.2


  • Millennials favor Facebook, thus your business should be using Facebook.
  • Focus on influencer marketing to reach this group.
  • Tap into subjects they feel strongly about to reach them.
  • Provide ratings and reviews about your products/services.
  • Give them relevant content delivered in a unique way.


Generation Z (also known as iGeneration, Post-Millennials, Plurals, or the Homeland Generation in the United States) is the demographic cohort after the Millennials. There are no precise dates for when the Gen Z cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use starting birth years that range from the mid-1990s to early 2000s, and as of yet there is little consensus about ending birth years.11

The youngest and newest group of Social Media users out there. Gen Y is the true digital generation, most have been using the Internet from a very young age. This generation is most comfortable with technology and interacting on Social Media. They are also very tuned in to what is happening around them.

They are noted to have a relatively short attention span and tend to be more insecure, which some attribute to having grown up in the Great Recession.

  • 67% use Facebook regularly.2
  • You have just 8 seconds to engage with Generation Z on Social Media.2
  • 50% of Generation Z uses Instagram.10
  • 79% would be interested in using virtual reality as a part of Social Media.2
  • 63% of Generation Y prefers real people marketing to them, rather than celebrities.10


  • Keep it short and positive.
  • Make it visually pleasing.
  • Video-based content is most popular.
  • Offer instant exclusive offers.
  • Time your updates for the hours before and after school.2
  • Generation Z is most active on Social Media on Thursdays and Fridays.2



  1. Investopedia
  2. Social Media Today
  3. Colorado University
  4. DMN3
  5. Pew Research
  6. Wikipedia
  7. MNI
  8. Statista
  9. Wikipedia (Millennials)
  10. Small Biz Trends
  11. Wikipedia (Generation Z)

Article Written by Laura Donovan of Business 2 Community