There is a generational difference in the content that influences people to visit a company's website from social media, according to a new survey from Visual Objects, a portfolio website that showcases work from top creative firms from around the world.
Images are more likely to persuade millennials to click through to businesses' websites from social media (33%), while offers/promotions are more likely to influence baby boomers (38%)
Experts advise businesses to pay attention to both preferences.
"Younger generations are a little skeptical with things like promotions and time-sensitive deals," said Jeremy Durant, business principal at B2B agency Bop Design. "They want more straightforward, direct ways of doing business."
It's important for businesses to pay attention to millennials' content preferences as this generation gains more buying power.
"If you're going after millennials with promotions, that may not resonate that well versus a much more direct sales approach," Durant said.
Regardless of age, both of these methods are still fairly effective on Social Networkers. According to AudienceSCAN, within the past 30 days, 42.9% of these consumers have used the internet to find coupons or discount codes and, within the last six months, 27.9% have used a mobile device to redeem or download a coupon. Within the last year, 45.8% of this audience took action after seeing an ad on a daily deals site such as Groupon. On the flip side, in the past six months, Social Networkers have used mobile devices to watch online or streamed videos (55.4%), view a store or retailer's website (29.3%) and take photos of products they were considering (27%). Overall, This audience is 8% more likely than other adults to click on text link ads on websites and 13% more likely to find advertising on social networks useful.
Most People Use Social Media to Visit a Company's Website
Eighty-one percent (81%) of people surveyed click through to businesses' websites from social media, suggesting it's in a company's best interest to make it easy for customers to visit their websites from social media.
"What you're typically trying to do with social media is taking blog and news content that you're regularly creating for your website and amplifying that to a new audience," Durant said. "Social media gets your thought leadership content in front of the right audience and drives them back to the website."
People Prefer Online Channels When Contacting Businesses
Most people prefer to use email (31%), social media (21%), or contact forms (19%) to contact a business for a general inquiry.
Only 9% of people prefer to contact businesses with chatbots, but experts predict the popularity of chatbots will increase.
"Live chat provides a fast and easy way for people to get a quick answer to a question about a service or product," said Mikel Bruce, CEO and founder of TinyFrog Technologies, a web design and development agency in San Diego. "It is less daunting than a phone call."
Generations Split on Method of Contacting Businesses
Millennials are most likely to use social media (26%) to contact a company, while baby boomers are more likely to use a contact form on a company's website (30%).
"Millennials have grown up with social media," said Paul Regensburg, president and creative director of RainCastle Communications, a Boston based branding and website design firm. "It's a more comfortable space for them. Social media is how [they] get information."
The bottom line is, no matter the age group, Social Networkers are digitally-oriented, and that's how companies can advertise to them. According to AudienceSCAN, last year, this audience took action after receiving email ads (48.3%), seeing either ads on their mobile smartphones or received via text (43.9%) and hearing ads on the radio, both over-the-air and online (42.8%). Don't forget to mix in traditional ads though. Last year, 61.3% of these consumers took action after seeing a TV commercial and 46.2% were driven to action by newspaper ads.
AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.