Social Media for Corporate Communications- Generational Use and Best Practices

Social Media for Corporate Communications: Generational Use and Best Practices

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey of adults in the United States, despite ongoing concerns over misinformation and data privacy, American adults continue to use a number of social media sites and apps in their daily lives. However, according to the survey, adults under 30 are far more likely than their older counterparts to use many of the online platforms, including Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

This means you may need to pivot and adjust your social media strategy depending on who you are looking to connect with. Start by considering the following social media and digital communications tips and tricks, which can also be used in your internal, external, and even executive communications.

Targeting Generation Z for Corporate Social Engagement

Born between 1997 and 2012, this is not only the newest – but also the largest and most diverse – workforce in U.S. history. Those in this generation, often referred to as “Gen Z” or “Zoomers” have been heavily shaped by the growth of technology. They’ve grown up with cell phones and social media, so it’s no surprise they spend a lot of time online. When it comes to Gen Z, focus on the following three platforms and remember that these users are looking to be informed and entertained.

  • Instagram: Ditch the filters. Gen Z prioritizes authenticity more than any other generation and is looking for informative and entertaining content in short-to-medium length videos (between 30 seconds and 5 minutes). Remember to also utilize Instagram Stories to connect with this audience in short and sweet 15-second updates. 
  • TikTok: Most importantly, address these users directly on camera, as if you were speaking to them in the room. Include a voice-over (either spoken or using speech-to-text), along with concise and informative text, and always make your videos accessible with closed captions.
  • Snapchat: Less is more, so keep your videos under a minute. Don’t forget to use the platform’s in-app features like Snapchat Memories and Geofilters to maximize reach and engagement.

Targeting Millennials With Your Social Media Corporate Communication 

This group makes up those born between 1977 and 1996 and today, they are the largest and most influential generation in the workforce. Millennials primarily use social media to connect with their peers and with the world around them, so it’s best to focus on informative – but relatable – connect on the following platforms.  

  • YouTube: This app is the most widely used online platform today, with many users between the ages of 30 and 49. When it comes to video length, it’s more about maintaining attention and creating an emotional connection than it is about the duration of a video. Just be sure to incorporate appropriate keywords to increase performance.
  • Instagram: Like Gen Z, millennials are a big fan of Instagram, but you can provide a bit more polish for this generation (think professionally captured photography vs. “on-the-fly” images).
  • Facebook: Yes, millennials still use Facebook, as it’s one of the best apps to connect with friends, family, and acquaintances. Keep your content simple, with a friendly, conversational tone that helps build an emotional connection.

Targeting Generation X For Corporate Social Engagement

Born between 1965 and 1976, this generation, also known as Gen Xers, is known for their independence. When it comes to social media platform preferences, YouTube and Facebook reign supreme.

To best connect with this generation online, focus on:

  • YouTube: Like millennials, focus on keywords and an appropriate video length.
  • Facebook: Similar to millennials, keep your content short, sweet, and most importantly, consistent. Building a relationship with Gen X means creating a familiarity with your organization and its messages, voice, and tone. 

Targeting Baby Boomers With Your Social Media Corporate Communication 

This group is made of up people born between 1946 and 1964, many of which have gone through a major digitization. This means that connecting with Baby Boomers on social media is possible, but you must first earn their trust. The best way to do that? Prioritize this generation’s most used platform.

  • Facebook: Earn the trust of Baby Boomers by treating them like any other group, not the older, more technology-challenged generation! Meet them where they are with relatable, engaging, and authentic content. Respond to comments and messages professionally and quickly, and optimize your content for both web and mobile use.

Whether you’re looking to connect with those inside or outside of your workforce, make sure to take the time to understand your audience, including their differing attitudes and expectations when it comes to online platforms and the organizations that utilize them. And if you’re really looking to optimize engagement, consider incorporating paid media into your digital strategy.

At IRI, we help organizations better understand what’s happening online to translate that intelligence into actionable assets. We believe every business is different, and each requires its own holistic and customized approach to communications. Whether you need an internal communications assessment, guidance in developing your internal communications strategy or social media strategy, digital media intelligence, crisis communications services, media relations, or media training, we have expert communications consultants who can quickly provide a specialized solution. Contact us online today to discuss the next steps, or give us a call at (313) 965-0350.