How to Reach the "Forgotten Generation" with Social Media

Oct 9, 2013 | Communication, Generation X, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Technology


Generation X road sign

Generation X is often referred to as the forgotten generation. But they represent a huge market segment that you cannot forget in your social media marketing. While we all hate being labeled by others, we do it all the time to describe people.

You’ve probably heard of Generation X—maybe you fall into this category yourself. Generation X, more commonly referred to as Gen X, is the group of people born between the early 1960s and early 1980s. The dates are somewhat arbitrary, and it may seem insane to categorize people who are up to 20 years apart, implying that they all think and act alike. However, precise dates will depend on the sources you read. For this discussion, exact dates are less important than their behavior and habits. The term Generation X was made popular by Douglas Coupland in his 1991 novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture.

Social media marketing is not created equal, and not all recipients think and respond in the same way. But, we can make and leverage some general observations as they relate to marketing to Generation X. Here are some characteristics to maximize:


Gen Xers are an interesting bridge between the hierarchal thinking of the generation before them, known as Boomers, and the team-driven Millennials, their successors. Having grown up in two-income or divorced homes, Gen Xers often learned to be independent and self-reliant. They like to be seen as self-sufficient. Speak to those characteristics in your interactions.


Gen Xers are very comfortable with technology and like to maximize it productively. Be sure to make your content easily viewable and available on mobile platforms. Don’t make them “print this off and bring it in for savings.” Instead, speak to their ability to use mobile technology and leverage that with them.

Flexible, yet Balanced

After going through the tough economy of the 80s and having workaholic parents, Generation Xers are often less faithful to their employers than earlier generations. They are willing to switch jobs or even careers if it allows them more flexibility and family time. They work to live, instead of living to work—as their parents did. They want conveniences to enhance their lives, and the lives of their loved ones. If you speak to their desire for flexibility and the importance of home, you will speak to their hearts.


This is the perfect word to describe Generation X. Avoid cheesy marketing tactics and get to the point. They don’t want to read the fine print. Be straightforward. Due to Gen Xers’ ability to use technology effectively, be sure to support your claims with research. They will crosscheck your facts. Provide research to justify your claims.

Have you ever marketed to Generation X? How do you engage them?

Scott Feather
Scott Feather
Community Manager
Learn more about Scott!

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