Younger social media users prefer political accounts to luxury brands

A survey of more than 2,000 Britons has found that younger users (18- to 24-year-olds) are the most likely to follow political accounts on social media, shunning fashion and luxury options.

The research, carried out by marketing network affilinet, looked into which social accounts different age groups tended to gravitate towards. Respondents were asked what kind of accounts they were most likely to follow on social media.

The most popular with all ages were money-saving accounts, with 25 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds opting for money-saving choices and 20 per cent choosing holiday and travel accounts, closely followed by those of political interest in third with 19 per cent.

The research suggests that demographic was the most politically engaged in that respect, followed by 25- to 34-year-olds (18.9 per cent said they followed political accounts). Fifteen per cent of 45- to 54-year-olds, 14.8 per cent of those over 55 and 13.9 per cent of 35- 44-year-olds also said they followed political accounts.

Many pointed out there were often lazy and patronising generalisations applied to millennials. Some noted that the term millennial tends to encompass such a wide range of people that attempting to attribute certain characteristics to them was often misleading and inaccurate.

When asked who they were more likely to be influenced by online, millennials said friends and family rather than vloggers and those with a high number of followers.

While it is not a comprehensive review of people’s social media activities, the study does point out that brands wanting to target certain demographics should check in on social to gauge what exactly is keeping different types of people engaged.

"Many brands are keen to harness the powers of social media," says Helen Southgate, affilinet's UK MD. "With the potential to offer an exceptionally engaged and open audience, provide authentic interactions and build relationships on an accessible and personal channel, social media marketing offers brands their first opportunity to gain control over the elusive but powerful word of mouth. It’s easy to see why it’s such an attractive prospect."

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