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Generational Social Media Trends in Travel

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Baby Boomers

Amongst new breeds of younger travellers, we would be foolish to ignore the presence of the massive post-war generation, Baby Boomers. Born between 1946 and 1964, Baby Boomers are retiring and are enjoying the fruits of a lifetime of hard work. For further insight into Baby Boomers read about them here.

Baby Boomers are entering a period in life where they're looking to kick back and relax with travel their elixir. While the Baby Boomer generation is not as technologically proficient as younger generations, they are becoming increasingly tech-savvy. This reflects how they're using social media. 

Half of the Baby Boomer generation report owning and using a smartphone, meanwhile four out of every five report having a presence on social media platforms. But what platforms are most popular amongst Boomers?

Research courtesy of Silver Travel Advisor helps to break it down for us.

what social media platforms do baby boomers use?

 

Whilst it's good to know what platforms you can find Baby Boomers on; it's an even more useful insight for your business to know how often they actually use these platforms.

Luckily, this information is on hand.

Slightly dishearteningly, 14% of the Baby Boomer generation hardly ever check in on their social media. However, at the opposite end of the scale, 47% are using it at least twice a day, every day. Plus a further 18% are checking in on their social media daily. Of those using their social media platforms daily, Boomers are averaging just over an hour and ten minutes per day on their social networks.

Then it becomes important to think about when within Baby Boomers' daily routine you can catch them on social media. Generally speaking, coffee catch-ups and lunchtime are the best time for your messages to reach this audience, although it's important to note that your social media messaging should not deviate from your face-to-face messaging. Be authentic and consistent when talking to this generation, to do otherwise will only serve to harm your credibility in their eyes.

With regards to travel marketing, Facebook is probably the best social media platform to reach this generation due to its simplicity and ease of use.

Unlike younger generations, you won't find Boomers trawling through Instagram for inspirational travel imagery but this is due to how Boomers prefer to plan their travels and on a more general note, consume content. This generation are looking for clear and coherent information on social media when planning to travel.

When looking to present your travel marketing messages to Baby Boomers through social media platforms like Facebook, aim to be relevant and timely. If using images, you'll find that using real, credible people will work wonders and perhaps hints towards a strategy of using user-generated content (UGC) within your messaging.

baby boomers technology

 

Gen X

Amidst raising families, maintaining their careers, and home-ownership, the notoriously underlooked Generation X should be of keen interest to travel marketers. They are a generation who wield high spending power as they enter the peak of their careers. While Millennials are starting to overtake their spending, Gen X has reigned supreme when spending on travel for a considerable amount of time. For further insight into Gen X read about them here.

Often referred to as a hybrid generation, Gen Xers can remember a world without social media, but this hasn't stopped them using it. Gen X still browse social media for travel inspiration; you'll just find them on different platforms than you would younger generations such as Millennials and Gen Z. 

In 2019, 90% of Gen X report owning a smartphone, up from 85% in 2018. Adoption of smartphones and other technologies has been no slower than it has been amongst younger generations and significantly, this has had an impact on how Gen Xers interact with social media platforms. So what platforms are most popular amongst Gen X? 

The graph below helps break this down for us.

what social media platforms do gen x use?

So, the data above is pretty meaningless if we don't understand the regularity of which Gen Xers are using their social media platforms.

Roughly 81% of Gen Xers use social media at least once per day, averaging 1 hour and 49 mins on their various platforms daily. Facebook is the most frequented platform with 90% of Gen X facebook users visiting the platform every week.

So when can you get a Gen Xers attention on an average day? Bearing in mind that the vast majority of Gen X is still working, weekday lunch breaks at work are a sure-fire way of reaching this demographic away from office life, Gen Xers are also spending a considerable amount of time on these platforms during the evenings.

But what content should you be using to get a Gen Xers attention? 72% indicate that images are their preferred form of content, while seeing that 84% of this generation use YouTube is a good indicator that video content is hugely popular as well.

For travel marketers, it is worth noting that Facebook and Pinterest are the most used platforms for travel inspiration. These user-friendly platforms are the most useful to Gen Xers and are found to be perfect for connecting with their contacts and sharing ideas.

how do gen x use social media for travel

 

millennials

With their spending power ever increasing, Millennials are a hugely important market for travel. They are not currently the highest-spending generation when it comes to travel. However, in the coming 5-10 years, we can expect them to take up this mantle. For further insight into Millennials read about them here.

As digital natives, Millennials have wholeheartedly embraced social media sharing everything on their platforms whilst growing up. 

Being digital natives, it should come as no real to surprise that Millennials have adopted technologies such as smartphones at a rapid rate, currently, a staggering 97% of Millennials report owning a smartphone. 

So, what social networks can you find millennials on? Well, research from Statista offers a pretty comprehensive answer. 

what social media platforms are millennials on? 

But how frequently do Millennials visit their social networks? Well, 81% report visiting their social networks daily, amassing 2 hours and 38 minutes on their various platforms along the way. For Millennials, Facebook is the most frequented platform amongst them with 87% visiting the platform every week. Meanwhile, Youtube is a close second for this generation with 86% accessing the video-sharing giant every week.

So when can you get a Millennials attention during an average day? Well, as with Gen Xers, the majority of Millennials are now cemented in the jobs market. With this in mind avoiding traditional working hours is definitely recommended.

Another point is that Millennials are much more likely to be glued to their phone on the commute to work so early on in the Weekday mornings is a prime opportunity for targeting them. As a general rule of thumb, engagement tends to be higher earlier on in the week and this is no different when it comes to targeting the Millennial audience. 

For travel marketers, finding the right content to present to Millennials is noticeably different than it would be for older audiences such as Gen X and Baby Boomers.

With Millennials spending their time on a wider variety of platforms when compared to their seniors, they are focusing a greater amount of time on platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. There is certainly an affinity for more visual media such as photos and videos.

From a travel marketers perspective, social media has given Millennials an unparalleled opportunity to show off their experiences in remote, hard to reach areas of the world while they look for authentic moments and connect with people and cultures, living like a local. They use social media platforms as a means of advertising themselves as well-travelled and cultured. These are the themes you should revolve your content around in order to resonate and be meaningful in the eyes of this generation

Travel Marketing to Millennials via social media

 

Gen Z

The world has never appeared smaller than it has done through the eyes of Gen Z. Born as the worlds very first generation of smartphone natives, they have no memory of a world without the internet. This access to technology has fostered a curiosity about the world around them. After all, with less being unknown about the world, it is harder to fear it. For further insight into Gen Z read about them here.

Being the first generation of smartphone natives, it shouldn't be surprising to find that nearly all of them actually own such a device. 97% to be exact. However, when you stop to let that sink in, it's a surprising figure, particularly when taking into account that comparatively few of them are active in the jobs market. 

So what social networking platforms will you find Gen Z on? The graph below helps break this down for us.

what social media networks do gen Z use?

However, how regularly Gen Z visit these social networks is where we start to see some significant differences. 

Most notably, the amount of Gen Z using Facebook regularly is in stark contrast to that of every other generation, with only 36% using the platform weekly. Furthermore, Gen Z displays a huge preference towards apps with a focus on visual content; with 68% of Gen Z using Snapchat every week, and a staggering 64.59% using Instagram daily. Interestingly, nearly half of Gen Z are also using platforms such as Instagram for brand discovery. 

So how can you get Gen Z's attention? There's a stat that's commonly thrown around on the internet, which is that Gen Z has a shorter attention span than a goldfish. While this is most probably utter rubbish, it is a fact that Gen Z possess a fairly short attention span when it comes to content (mostly because they are inundated with a huge amount of content from multiple sources almost every minute of the day!).

With this in mind, you should aim to present content in small, bitesize chunks.

Also, non-skippable ads and pop-ups are a no-no, while beautifully written long-form content, such as this blog, is likely to go over their heads. To get Gen Z's attention, avoid traditional ad formats, keep things short and sweet and you'll be on to a winner. 

For travel marketers targeting Gen Z, visual content is key, particularly on platforms like Instagram.

More than any other generation, when it comes to deciding on travel destinations, Gen Z are swayed by digital influencers. 45% of Gen Z are following more than 10 of these modern 'celebrities'.

With this in mind, reaching out to Gen Z via influencers and micro-influencers is one of the most convenient ways of resonating with this particular market segment.

Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube in particular, are incredibly popular with Gen Z. Instagram has specifically emerged as having the largest growth of any social media platform and is a haven for UGC, micro-influencers and travel inspiration. Research from market research consultancy, The Leading Edge highlights Instagram as the number one platform for travel inspiration. 50% of their research sample designate Instagram as providing the best travel inspiration.

 gen z social media marketing for travel

 

We have a lot more to say about generational travel marketing, click here if you want to find out more.

If you find yourself wanting to learn more about social media trends in travel, you can do just that with our Social Media Trends in Travel Whitepaper, which you can access by filling in a short form via this link.

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