Hotel Social Media Marketing to Different Generations

Different generation inspirations and expectations


Whether it’s Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X or Baby Boomers, your hotel social media marketing strategy needs to include plans that effectively reach out to your desired target audience. What motivates them? What is their purchasing power and disposable income? What are their inspirations and expectations on social media?

percentage of US adults who use social media



Hotel social media marketing approaches


Each generation approaches social media based on their life experiences and inspirations. They each have preferred social media platforms but how and why they use them makes finding the right approach to each group a challenge. While these groups may share an interest in some of the same social media platforms, they have different ways of using and communicating through these platforms.


Baby Boomers

The often forgotten group when it comes to social media – are part of the generation that developed the internet and the desktop computer as we know it today. Two of the most notable are Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Steve Jobs (Apple). Tim Berners-Lee together with Robert Cailliau, is recognized as the inventor of the World Wide Web. They have the largest disposable income of all age groups. According to Pew Research, 69% of adults aged 50 to 64 used social networking sites. Most preferred Facebook so they could revive friendships of bygone days to reminisce and perhaps renew those friendships.


Social Media Approach: 91% have a social media account and 95% prefer to communicate with businesses via email. They want relevant content and have a preference to content based platforms like Facebook and YouTube. If they can share their views and opinions, they’re all in! They don’t hesitate to voice and share their opinions and look for deals and information. So this is the generation that newsletter signups, informative video content, questionnaires, contests, promotions and polls help increase your hotel’s chances for awareness, engagement and interaction.

Generation X

This is a smaller group in between Baby Boomers and Millennials – the so-called “MTV” generation. They grew up with the music video craze as the power of visuals over words grew stronger and they have the second largest disposable income next to Baby Boomers. They lived most of their life away from the internet and social media so they like things simple and clear. This is the group that considers what will make their life easier and rewarding. So luxurious services and products have a definite attraction.


Social Media Approach:  This group likes content that is visually engaging so photo/picture/video-based content will appeal to them. They are brand loyalists so building relationships with them is the easiest of all groups. They are the most likely to follow brands and share content through social media outlets. But they will just as well unfollow a brand because something said was offensive or against their personal beliefs. Calls to action are your best bet to catching their attention. One click solutions to websites are best for this generation as are avoiding polls and quizzes. They are a reflective group so invoking memories will indulge their needs and inspire them to engage with your hotel.

Millennials (a.k.a. Generation Y)

This is the largest of all groups who have high ideals and are vocal about what they represent. When it comes to social media, millennials are the most influential of all generations. They seek out brand advocates because they see peers as a trustworthy source. They base their decisions about hotels through ratings and reviews. They engage with multiple social media platforms rather than have a loyalty to just one. They’re technologically savvy and have changed the landscape for hotel social media.


Social Media Approach:  This generation is the one that will turn to social media instead of phone or email to communicate with your hotel. They are the most influential on social media and seek out brand advocates. The exchanges allow them to express what they care about and, at the same time, build relationships that hotels can tap into. They expect relevant and credible content so hotels can build better relationships with millennials by ensuring they are adding value to the exchanges.


Generation Z

This is the youngest group who were born with the digital world in the palm of their hands – the true digital generation – that doesn’t know what life was like before the advent of computers. This generation is the most forward thinking and innovative. They are impressionable and most feel that social media directly impacts how they feel about themselves. Virtual Reality as part of your hotel’s social media marketing would be of most interest to this group. Compared to other generations, a recent Google research survey shows this generation to be the most “connected” of all groups.


Social Media Approach: Video content that empowers or motivates is what will inspire this generation. When it comes to social media engagement, quick, brief content catches their attention and inspires them to interact. Being authentic is key as most in this generation would prefer to see real people marketing to them than celebrities.  Exclusive offers that provide real-time results are a way to gain their loyalty.


GenZ represents a large segment of the population


Whichever generation you are targeting for your hotel social media marketing, you will first need to understand the mindset of each group, how you can interact with them, and the right social media platform to reach them. You will want to find their triggers and make them an advocate of your hotel. But the ultimate success of your social media marketing campaign to each generation will be when your efforts turn those likes and shares into bookings.