Seven in 10 US internet users will use social media regularly in 2017, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast. However, the ways in which social media users connect with friends, family members—and, of course, brands—vary greatly depending on the user’s age.
A January 2017 survey from Sprout Social, which polled 1,000 US millennial, Gen Xer and baby boomer internet users, compared how the three generations use social to follow brands.
The survey found millennials and Gen Xers are twice as likely as baby boomers to follow a brand on social media. About half of respondents in each group reported doing so, compared with 24.5% of baby boomers.
The three generations also follow brands for different reasons. Sprout found that millennials tend to follow for entertainment and information, while Xers do so for contests and deals. Meanwhile, boomers seek out brands for deals and information.
Luckily for marketers, there’s a good chance that if someone is following a brand on social media, they’ll be making a purchase—no matter what their age. Around 70% of Gen Xers, 60% of millennials and 51% of baby boomers said they’d be likely to purchase something from a brand they follow on a social media platform.