How Different Generations Use Social Media

Animoto recently launched a survey to better understand how consumers’ purchase habits are influenced by a brand’s social media presence. Originally, the survey focused on Millennials, but Animoto looked closer at Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers. If 75 percent of Millennials’ purchase decisions are influenced by a brand’s social media activity, that has to be the case for others, right? Here is what they learned. 

Generation Z 

Generation Z, or Gen Z as they like to call themselves, were born between 1995 and 2015. They spend the majority of their time on YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. How they use these channels varies, though. 

For example, Gen Z prefers to follow brands on Instagram but learn about new products on YouTube. If you have kids, you probably know this for yourself! They also make purchase decisions on YouTube and trust brands more when they have product videos. 

Gen Z is still fairly young, with the oldest ones being just 25 years old. However, we know that young consumers spend a lot, particularly on retail and travel. Being visible on Instagram and YouTube is imperative, though you probably won’t find this generation much on Facebook or Twitter. 


Millennials have received plenty of attention throughout the years, but they are quickly moving over for Gen Z. Millennials were born between 1980 and 1994, making the oldest 40 years old. As this generation matures, we are finding that they have distinct differences from the younger Gen Zs. 

Millennials spend the bulk of their time on Facebook and YouTube. In fact, they tend to rely on Facebook to discover new products, follow brands and make purchase decisions. In fact, this generation is not afraid to purchase products directly on Facebook. They also shop online and in stores equally. 

Generation X

Gen Xers were born between 1965 and 1979. They have similar habits as Millennials, spending the majority of their time on Facebook and YouTube. Like the Millennials, Gen X prefers following brands on Facebook and making purchase decisions on YouTube. In fact, 60 percent of Gen Xers prefer video when learning about new products. 

There are a few things that Generation X prefers compared to other generations. For example, email marketing is their preferred channel for brand updates, industry news and special offers. This generation also tends to be more loyal than others, making them great targets for freebies and coupons. 

Baby Boomers 

Baby Boomers were born between 1944 and 1964. They, too, like to spend their time on Facebook and YouTube. This is also where they follow brands, watch product videos and make purchase decisions. However, Baby Boomers don’t necessarily view brands without product videos as less trustworthy.

The shopping habits of Baby Boomers are also different from other generations. They are more likely to spend their money on travel and education than retail. However, Baby Boomers are far more social than we give them credit for. They enjoy seeing products online and then continuing their search in stores. 

So what do you think about these findings? Be sure to keep them in mind when creating marketing strategies for your different audiences. 

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