Personal branding of the generations: 4 astonishing insights into social media use

What is the social media presence of the different generations in terms of personal branding?

Personal branding is one of the most important tools for self-marketing and maintaining a personal image on the Internet. Social media play a major role in terms of digital presence. What are the differences between Generation X (aged 36 to 54), Generation Y (aged 22 to 35), also known as Millennials, and Generation Z (aged 16 to 21)? What do they pay particular attention to in their web presence and social media activity? How do they deal with self-expression and digital communication?

Personal Branding is one of the most important tools for self-marketing and maintaining a personal image on the Internet. Social media play a major role in this context. “The earlier someone recognizes what he wants the better. Young humans have another matter of course with which they regard things. That needs our world. There are enough deconstructive grumblers. This is how executive trainer and business coach Henryk Lüderitz comments on the next generation of managers, who may be young and inexperienced, but are nevertheless courageous and strong-willed.

Indeed, the younger generations are characterized by a way of thinking that is oriented towards self-realization and their own values, which they live out in the real and digital world. What are the differences between Generation X (aged 36 to 54), Generation Y (aged 22 to 35), also known as Millennials, and Generation Z (aged 16 to 21)? What do they pay particular attention to in their web presence and social media activity? How do they deal with self-expression and digital communication? Here are a few ideas as a source of inspiration:

1. Online behavior: What motivates generations to be active in social media?

The reasons for active participation in social networks can vary. Maintaining contact with current and former school friends, pursuing a hobby, a desire for a positive change or public relations work for a project are just a few noteworthy examples of why generations regularly log on to Facebook, Instagram and the like.

The experts in the field of social media leave no doubt that the motivation to use social media can vary from generation to generation. For example, the youngest Generation Z seems to place greater emphasis on positive self-presentation than Generation X, which is more practically oriented and less interested in network prestige. The Millennials draw on both generations in this respect.

2. Advertising consumption: How to reach generations with advertising campaigns?

Many companies and brands are present in social networks to build a positive image and increase online sales. For some of them, social selling is an additional sales tool that allows them to open up new market segments. Advertisers are thinking above all of their target groups, which they can find on social media and address directly.

Their success will largely depend on which generation they want to reach. Although Generation Z has comparatively less income available due to a young age, it is far more open-minded towards online advertising and social influencers than much older Generation X. This generation is generally risk averse and less willing to try out a new product.

3. Lifetime: How much time do generations spend on social media?

“Time is money”: Advertising companies and brands can be pleased that potential and existing customers spend more and more time in social media and consume advertising content all the more often. Facebook and Instagram, which are now part of everyday life for billions of active users worldwide, are particularly relevant here. Generation Z and Millennials are pioneers in this respect.

As digital natives, they take communication in digital space, including social networks, for granted and consider it just as important as communication in the real world. With the help of smartphones and other mobile devices, Generation Z and Millennials are going online on the road to talk to their Facebook or Instagram friends for hours and explore news.

4. Personal Branding: How do users present themselves in social media?

Self-marketing has become a major topic, which affects more and more individuals at a young age, in addition to freelancers and self-employed persons. The desire for a perfect self-presentation, which leads to more fans and followers, is an important common denominator of personal branding. Social networks offer themselves as an optimal advertising instrument for this purpose.

Generation Z in particular raves about social recognition in the digital space. The reason for this could be that young people often look for reassurance of belonging. Personal branding also serves the Millennials and Generation X to achieve influencer status. An irresistible unique selling point on Facebook, Instagram and Co. proves to be indispensable in this context.

An unforgettable user experience: This unites all generations

Despite all the differences between generations X, Y and Z, which are due to age on the one hand and changing attitudes to life on the other, there is something they have in common. It is about an unforgettable user experience that all generations long for when they are active in social media. Of course, it can mean something different for each generation.

By and large, social networks create a unique opportunity to present a digital self-portrait in a positive light. While generations Y and Z want to boost personal and professional success, generation X is primarily concerned with switching off from everyday life and evoking positive memories of their youth. It is therefore not surprising that they use other personal branding tools.

DR. IRÈNE KILUBI hat als promovierte Wirtschaftsingenieurin und Unternehmensberaterin in ihrer Vita Unternehmen wie BMW, Deloitte, Amazon & Co auf der Liste. Nach vielen Stationen folgt sie jetzt ihrer ganz persönlichen Leidenschaft und ist mit den Themen Community Building, Corporate Influencer und Connecting GenXYZ unterwegs. Darüber hinaus ist sie als Expert Advisor für den European Innovation Council Accelerator der Europäischen Kommission tätig. Dr. Irène Kilubi ist Universitätsdozentin für Digitales Marketing und Entrepreneurship und eine gefragte Referentin auf Konferenzen und Veranstaltungen.

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