Millennials (and older consumers!) increasingly favor brands with active social pages. In fact, nearly one-quarter of millennials check branded Facebook pages at least once per day, as do 17 percent of consumers between the ages of 35 and 74.

Social content marketing should be on marketers’ to-do list this year, especially if businesses cater to young and traditionally hard-to-reach millennial shoppers. A survey from ad agency Barkley shows that young consumers are highly likely to engage businesses on Twitter and Facebook (and older crowds are also growing keen on social media marketing).

The organization surveyed more than 5,000 consumers (concentrating on those between the ages of 16 and 34) to find out how marketing efforts impact their attitudes and shopping habits. More than half of millennials (52.8 percent) say the “like checking out brands on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter,” relays eMarketer. More than one-third (33.4 percent) say they have a more favorable impression of a business when it uses social media.

“Since the millennial generation is larger than the baby boomers and three times bigger than Generation X, marketers’ understanding of millennials’ needs, tastes and behaviors will clearly shape current and future business decisions,” said Jeff Fromm, senior vice president at Barkley.

Of course, businesses catering to older generations should know this audience also shows a growing proclivity for businesses that are active on social networks. More than one-third of consumers between the ages of 35 and 74 (36.2 percent ) look for brands on Facebook and Twitter, and 17.4 percent prefer businesses that have a social presence.

Marketers hoping to catch the interest of these social-savvy consumers should note that fresh social posts are key. More than one in 10 millennials (12.2 percent) check branded Facebook pages they Like daily, as do 9.1 percent of older audiences. In fact, 11.3 percent of millennials and 7.9 percent of older consumers check Facebook content multiple times per day.

With this in mind, marketers will want to plan content marketing campaigns that update their social sites throughout the day to hold users’ attentions. One way to achieve this is by distributing company blog posts and branded news content marketing headlines to social fans – keeping both business sites and social pages fresh.

As Brafton has reported, distributing fresh content across channels can be key to garnering new business. Nearly 90 percent of marketers who say they’ve gain new customers via blogs update their posts multiple times per day.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.