- Over half (57%) of surveyed consumers across generational groups say social media influences their shopping decisions, according to a Yes Lifecycle Marketing report titled "A Marketer's Guide to Reaching the Generations" made available to Marketing Dive. Among the social media platforms, Facebook retains a strong hold with 44% of consumers across the Gen Z, millennial, Gen X and baby boomer age brackets.
- Social media is especially potent for the two youngest surveyed demographic groups, with more than 80% of Gen Zers and 74% of millennials reporting the marketing channel influences their shopping habits. Gen Z pointed to Snapchat as being particularly powerful in affecting purchase decisions at 21% — 2x higher than millennials — and also favored Instagram more than any other generation by "large margins." Millennials prefer Facebook more than any other age group.
- Older generations value price, selection and convenience, according to the report, while younger groups look for personalized, cross-channel experiences.
Millennials and Gen Z, in particular, are incredibly high-value audiences for marketers, even as they often wield less spending power than older age brackets. The hope is that, in catching these groups early, brands might be able to develop loyalty for the long haul. The Yes Lifecycle Marketing report underscores how social media might be leveraged to achieve that level of influence and also drive sales — strategies platforms like Instagram and Facebook have attempted to accommodate more via new advertising products including shoppable photos and video that link directly to product pages for purchase.
Snapchat, despite facing reportedly slowed user growth in Q2 of this year and recent investor skepticism that it's not innovating fast enough, still wields high purchasing influence with Gen Z as well. These findings point to how it might be too early for brands and retailers to cool off on the relatively young platform, even as it feels a tighter squeeze from main competitors like Instagram.
Yes Lifecycle Marketing also acknowledged the changing face of the consumer base as baby boomers begin spending less in retirement, Gen X continues to wield significant financial power, millennials build careers and families and Gen Z introduces newer shopping behaviors into the mix. The report warned against leaning on generational stereotypes for go-to-market strategies, however, suggesting they might be misleading.