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  • Writer's pictureSophia Brading

Why Gen X Shouldn't Be Overlooked in Social Media Campaigns

In the ever-evolving world of social media marketing, it's easy to get caught up in the frenzy of targeting younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z. They are the digital natives, after all, right?

However, in the race to capture the attention of the youth, there's a generation that often gets overlooked—the formidable Generation X.

A recent study by WPP media agency Wavemaker has shed light on a significant gap in social media advertising: Gen X, people currently aged 45 to 60, are being 'overlooked' in influencer marketing campaigns, with a mere 5% of brand spend directed towards this demographic. This oversight is surprising given that 92% of Gen X surveyed in the study reported using social media every day.

So, why should businesses and advertisers pay more attention to this age group, and what can they learn from the research?

Understanding Generation X

First, let's clarify who Gen X is. While definitions can vary, Wavemaker's report defines Gen X as those aged between 45 and 60. They're sandwiched between the Baby Boomer and Millennial generations, and they represent a massive consumer segment.

The Neglected Majority

The research conducted by Wavemaker combined quantitative and qualitative data, influencer marketing campaign tests, content analysis, and cross-generational meta-analysis of purchase journey studies. The findings were enlightening.

While Gen X is active on social media, influencer marketing campaigns tailored to this demographic tend to underperform compared to those targeting Gen Z or Millennials. In fact, influencer campaigns aimed at Gen X had a 30% lower retention rate, 20% fewer interactions with the content, and a 47% lower impact on brand opinion, according to the study.

Relevance Matters

Interestingly, social media influencer content featuring individuals of the same age group as Gen X ranked higher for relevance and drove more brand website visits than content featuring Gen Z influencers. Participants in the study were also 20% more likely to report that the influencer was 'the perfect fit' if they were from the same age group.

Brand Loyalty and Wealth

Furthermore, the research found a higher level of brand loyalty among people aged 45-60 than among younger groups. This is a key insight for businesses looking to build long-term relationships with their customers.

Wavemaker, emphasized that Gen X presents a significant opportunity for brands. They are highly engaged, loyal, and often more financially stable consumers. To effectively engage Gen X audiences, Bowen-Jones suggests brands should focus on long-term, community-based content that builds trust, loyalty, and a sense of representation.

Recognizing and Responding

Global Chief Strategy Officer at Wavemaker, highlighted the importance of recognizing and responding to the unique social media usage of Gen X. This generation may not be as vocal or conspicuous as their younger counterparts, but their presence and potential for brand engagement are undeniable.

In conclusion, Gen X is a demographic that shouldn't be underestimated or ignored in social media marketing campaigns. They represent a powerful and affluent consumer segment that is ready to engage with brands that recognize their preferences and values. As we move forward in the dynamic landscape of digital marketing, it's crucial to remember that inclusivity and diversity in audience targeting can lead to greater success.

Don't let Gen X be the 'forgotten' generation in your social media strategy; they might just be the key to your brand's next level of growth.

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