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Generationally Speaking: Social Media Platforms and Their Top Users

Who are You Speaking To? 

Internet users, marketers, and the consumer industry are overwhelmed when it comes to the number of social media platforms available to them today.  There is a seemingly endless number of outlets and websites consumers visit to interact and get their information, and it’s important for dealerships to know who they’re speaking to when they’re sharing information online.

In order to take full advantage of your marketing strategy–and more specifically, targeted marketing–we’ve put together a list of the social media platforms that are projected to remain relevant in 2016, along with a description of the users who are frequenting them the most. Having this information available makes it simple for your dealership to utilize the best platforms and make sure you're speaking directly to your social media platforms’ top users while taking your marketing strategy to a whole new level.


It’s hard for steadfast users to understand, but Facebook’s popularity is actually beginning to wane with younger users like Generation Z, especially teens who are more intrigued by platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Fortunately, for dealerships, much of the generation that finds Facebook “uncool” is not yet old enough to drive or have the need for a vehicle, making the platform a viable way to connect with shoppers who are interested in building online relationships. According to a survey of over 3000 marketers across the world, Facebook is still a core tool for engaging customers.

What’s different about Facebook in 2016 is that it’s beginning to make a large transition into video marketing. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he expects the platform’s feed to be primarily video in the next few years. With Facebook’s introduction of live video, dealerships’ marketers now have the ability to connect with followers and can both talk about their business and give people a sneak peek behind the scenes. This is a great way for dealerships to bring customers closer, show their personalities, and gain more attention—in turn acquiring more customers. 

Facebook dominates as the social media platform where people get their news and information. 88% of millennials rely on Facebook for their news, and Facebook is primarily popular among adults under age of 35. Although, millennials on the younger side of the generation tend to use a broader mix of social media platforms and a small percentage have even begun deleting their accounts in favor of other networks.


The majority of people using Twitter say it’s to see what people are really talking about or what’s trending. Many users are also on the lookout for entertainment such as funny articles or videos when scrolling through their Twitter feeds. It may be beneficial for your dealership to use that marketing knowledge to its advantage by creating clever lists, article titles, and short videos to both entertain and promote via Twitter.  

Twitter is actually most popular among younger millennials versus adults overall. Unlike Facebook, news and information is no longer the primary reason millennials use Twitter. However, almost half of millennials using Twitter will regularly read and watch news stories, links, or videos available on Twitter.


Now commonly referred to as IG, Instagram is most popular among people ages 18-34. Its users are also, surprisingly, predominantly men. The most strategic way your dealership can use Instagram in 2016 is by coming up with a personalized hashtag and encouraging followers to use and share it. According to Iconosquare’s 2015 Instagram study, 70% of IG users look up brands on the platform and 62% follow just because they like you.

Consumers use this platform to take in images and view your marketing messages without the hard sales pitch. The moral of IG is to convert passive shoppers into confident customers through what you show them. It’s also important to remember the only place a link is clickable on IG is in your bio. Connect a trackable link to your website in your dealership’s IG bio.


LinkedIn is quickly pushing to become the most popular place to connect business to business (B2B) and share content. The platform drives 80% of B2B social media leads, so it may be most beneficial for your dealership to use LinkedIn to connect with other businesses, services, CEM and CRM providers, and people who can help benefit your business.

Your dealership can also use LinkedIn to keep track of industry news tailored specifically to your interests. It’s one of the most professional platforms to stay informed with what’s going on in the professional and business world.


This platform is a useful tool to keep in your back pocket because its users are primarily Generation Z, ranging from ages 14-17. This is great for your dealership because this is the exact age range where teens have the ability to begin driving and start showing interest in finding a vehicle. Millennials come in a close second with 81% using YouTube on a consistent basis. 

If your dealership is interested in creating a YouTube channel to broadcast itself, it’s important to have a call to action in your videos and begin by promoting videos to current followers and customers. Video marketing is quickly becoming the most popular avenue to connect with followers, consumers, and customers; and YouTube is a great place to get started and share great video content.


You may be surprised to find out Pinterest is not just about food, fashion, and design anymore. Actually, since 2014, there’s been 118% increase in car and motorcycle pins along with a large growth in popularity among both men and women. In terms of traffic, Pinterest is now the third most popular social network in the US, in terms of traffic.

43% of Pinterest members agree they use Pinterest to “associate with retailers or brands with which I identify,” compared to just 24% of Facebook users who agree to the same use with Facebook. The largest percentage of Pinterest users are ages 18-29; however, Pinterest also has a large percentage of older users with around 28% between the ages of 30-49.

It may be beneficial for your dealership to pin useful content related to automotive along with current inventory that has a price tag included in your pins because Pinterest pins with prices get 36% more likes than those without. Currently, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+ combined.

For upcoming buying generations and current consumer generations, it’s important your dealership is speaking and able to market specifically to them via the most relevant outlets. Knowing which generations and age groups primarily gravitate toward specific platforms will help your dealership do just that. It’s key to focus your dealership’s energy on the platforms that will dominate 2016, because that’s where you will find your shoppers, your influencers, and your brand advocates.

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Tags: 2016, Audience, Culture, Demographics, IG, Market, Marketing, Media, Most, Pinterest, More…Platforms, Popular, Social, Target, YouTube, demographic, facebook, instagram, linkedin, twitter


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