In the 80’s not only did I wear lace gloves and neon clothes, but I also got caught up in the lingo of the day, especially since I lived in California at the time. Awesome, Righteous, Gnarly, Dude were probably the words I most often used to express myself as a young teenager.

My dad was a man of eloquent speech. He loved using fancy words in everyday conversations that sometimes left people baffled.  Upon one occasion he use the word ‘extemporaneous’ and everyone in the room turned and stared at him.  I never forget the meaning of that word.

When I was in fourth grade, Dad took me to Toys R’ Us and bought me a thesaurus (which I still have of course).  By the time I hit eighth grade, I should have developed a more sophisticated vocabulary, but I got caught up in “like” the Valley Girl way of communicating.  It drove Dad nuts!  Upon being scolded in front of my best friend for using those choice words, he reminded me that he had gotten me a Thesaurus and I am pretty sure he made me study it for awhile after that.

That was the language of the times.  All of my friends “like” used the same words!  Hearing me say awesome 100 times a day was beyond frustrating to Dad. Even though he was only in his thirties, his irritation with this form of vocabulary created significant distance in the perception of our places in life.

So what about the way we communicate through social media?  Do you associate it with kids?  It started off as a social connection for college kids, but now just about every age group uses it.  Some networks are more appealing than others to different generations.  After MySpace faded out, Facebook is where a lot of people set up their first account and it has sustained its users through several platform changes over the years.

As a business owner or organization leader you understand how important incorporating a social strategy into your marketing plan is.  Having some knowledge of how the popular platforms function and which demographics utilize them most is extremely helpful.  Strong brand development is vital and you have to maintain your voice and identity throughout your advertising campaigns as well as your social media channels.  Your followers and customers should be able to recognize your brand through your content.  But, how do you maintain your brand integrity and communicate with multiple types of people?

Once you determine your target audience, you need to create a strategy that pertains to various demographics.  Whether that includes Millennials, GenX, or Baby Boomers, customize your approach to marketing to different generations.  Look at niches within their groups and focus on buyer personas.  Determine where they are and what type of content they respond to.  Adapt your message to the platform you are using that provides value to your target audience rather than adding to the noise.  Speak the same language as your fans.  Posting pictures and quotes that appeal to your primary audience makes them more attractive and shareable.  Include questions that help your audience understand that their opinion is important to you.  Let them know how your product or service will fulfill a need.

Get out your “thesaurus” and determine what words will be most effective to communicate with your audience!