Social Media and Generations

    Are you ready for the Challenge?

    The majority of the people that utilize social media are from Generation-Y (20-37 years old in 2014).  If one is looking to see how social media will evolve by 2020, Generation-Y and Millenniums  will remain the dominate users.

    A generation’s mindset is created by the social circumstances they were raised with in their youth.  This mindset never changes throughout their adult life.

    Each generation brings its own technology with them throughout their life cycle.

    Baby Boomers were raised with telephone, radio and television. It was this generation that created the Internet, but they were not the one that made it grow.

    Generation-X is the generation that expanded the Internet, email and made cell phones a way of life.

    Generation-Y uses text messaging as their mainstream communication, giving cell phones and PDA’s a new dimension.  Texting is used for personal communication and business.  This generation does not use much email, just text.  The average age of a text messenger is 30 years.

    Millenniums are fully engaged in texting, Twitter and SMS, as is Gen-Y.  They are fully integrated and comfortable with touch screens, mobile media and entertainment.  This generation has the least direct personal contact with people (when compared to other generations).  By the year 2020 this will have worldwide impact on society.

    Technology of one generation does not change the mindset of another.  The significance of each generation aging six to 10 years is that their comfort level and use of technology stays the same.  It does not change during a lifetime.  Each generation may use new technology, but remain more comfortable using technology that they were raised with during their youth.

    Here are the generations by age:

    2014 2020


    50-68 years


    56-74 years


    38-49 years


    44-55 years


    20-37 years


    26-43 years


    5-19 years        


    11-25 years

    In 2020, social media will be perceived differently by each generation, as it is now.  That is why it is very important to understand the mindset of each generation in order to effectively communicate with them.

    A generation’s mindset never changes as they age.  In humans, the most significant changes mentally and physically happen between 12-17 years of age.  This sets the stage for their mindset and does not change for the rest of their lives.  An individual’s mindset has nothing to do with their personality.  It is all about the influences of their peer group, in their youth and continuing throughout their lifetime.

    If you do not tune-in to the mindset of a generation, and speak to them in their generational language, communication and resulting comprehension will become stagnant.  Stop using demographic age groups.  Appealing to a demographic age group will result in your message being “tuned-out” forever.

    The only way social media will turn out to be a powerful media, with big returns for marketing and advertising will be to address each mindset differently.  Until this happens, social media will stay social for family and friends, and it will not be the powerful marketing or advertising vehicle marketers want you to believe. This also includes the health foods and product industry.

    Look for the new book, Genergraphics – Sales and a marketing for the 21st Century being published by Hannover House in 2014. WF



    About The Author:  As President and CEO of Genergraphics, Phil Goodman and his company believe that demographics are not as important as strategies based on the psychology of marketing. Having began his involvement in advertising and marketing in 1955, Goodman has become one of the foremost experts on the Baby Boom generation, considered to be the most active group of American consumers. In addition to forming the Western Media Corporation in 1974 and Generation Transitional Marketing in 1995, Phil has served as a consultant to countless television, radio, and print media companies, including Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Goodman is also the author of the book “Boomers: The Ageless Generation,” and look for his new book “Genergraphics: Sales and Marketing for the 21st Century,” being published by Hannover House in 2014.

    Published by WholeFoods Magazine Online, 7/22/2014