You are putting together a marketing campaign. And because you are doing it right, it includes social media targeted to the market you have identified. That target market can be based on age, gender, location, language, spending power and patterns, interests, or stage of life – or any combination thereof.
Understanding the demographics of each social media platform is essential before deciding which platforms make the most sense for the market your brand is targeting.
If age is an important factor in determining your target market, there is plenty of information out there that will help you choose the platform or platforms that will get eyeballs – of the right age — on your posts.
Choosing social media platforms: What the numbers tell us
It’s important to choose the right platform for your social media posts because social media is not going away. By 2020, there will be an estimated 2.95 billion social media users. Of those, 78% will be in the United States, making the U.S. the largest social media advertising market in the world.
Six years later, by 2026, here’s how the numbers will break down by generation: The Silent Generation (those 74 and older and born before 1946) will make up 14% of the U.S. population; Baby Boomers, 66%; Gen X 65%; Millennials, 80%, Gen Z, 82%, and Gen Alpha, 43%.
Of the 2.95 billion social media users who will exist next year, here is how that number breaks down by generation, from Generation Alpha to the Baby Boomers.
Generation Alpha: Born 2010-2025
- 2 billion by 2025
- 5 million born around the globe each week
- First totally digital generation
- Immersed in technology since birth
- Technology deeply integrated in everyday life
Gen Z: Ages 13-19 – Born 1997-2010
- 27% of U.S. population
- 8 billion globally
- Youngest, most ethnically-diverse generation in U.S. history
- Estimated to soon become the largest U.S. consumer population
- 8-second average attention span
- Social Media Platforms: 50% use Instagram, 26% use Facebook and 23% use Snapchat
- Prefer real people to celebs
- Dominates online searches for information on the post-Millenial generation
Millennials: Ages 23-38 – Born 1981-1996
- 25% of U.S. population
- Extraordinary buying power
- Largest living generation in U.S.
- Unmatched social media skills
- Social Media Platforms: 70% use Facebook, 63% are heavy YouTube users
- 43% want brand to reach them via email
- Spend 8 hours a day online
- Concerned with financial future
- Generation most loyal to brands
Generation X: Ages 39-53 – Born 1965-1980
- 6% of U.S. population
- Smaller than any other age demographic
- 58% of internet users in U.S
- $200 billion in spending power
- Social Media Platforms: 80% on Facebook and Twitter but only half use their accounts regularly
- 76% of all online users will access social media in 2017
- 68% make decisions based on reviews. Pay attention to online reviews
Baby Boomers: Ages 55-73 – Born 1946-1964
- Spend 27 hours a week online
- Social Media Platforms: Facebook preferred platform: 45% of 65+; 60% of 50-64; 15% spend 11-plus hours a week on Facebook; 13% use LinkedIn
- 50% rely on credit cards for purchases
- Responsible for 50% of total consumer expenditure
- Most price conscious
Social media use overall — in the U.S. and beyond
When looking at social media use overall, the research shows that today about 70% of Americans use social media to connect with each other. Worldwide, there are approximately 3.04 billion social media users. About that same number actively access social media on their mobile devices. Of these, 90% reach out to brands or retailers.
In the U.S. 77% of people have at least one social media profile. And global internet users spend 135 minutes daily on social media sites.