Offers and promotions influence baby boomers to click through to a website from social media, while millennials are most influenced by images. Millennials tend to engage directly with businesses on social media, and baby boomers prefer contact forms on a website, a new survey finds.
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 most likely to persuade millennials (33%) to click through to a business’s website from social media than Generation Xers (21%) and baby boomers (12%).
- More than four-fifths of people (81%) use social media to click through to a business’s website.
- A phone line is no longer the most important way for people to contact companies: People are most likely to use email (31%), social media (21%), or contact forms (19%) when contacting a company for a general inquiry, compared to just 16% who prefer phone calls.
- Millennials are more likely to use social media (26%) to contact a company, while baby boomers prefer to use a contact form on the company’s website (30%).
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.
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.”
Visual Object’s 2019 Consumer Social Media and Website Survey included 537 people in the U.S. who use social media at least once per week.