How To Connect With Millennials On Social Media
Although there always seems to be tension between young people and their elders, few generations have been maligned in the media as much as millennials have. From being characterized as lazy and entitled to being blamed for “killing” just about everything their parents love, today’s 18-to-34 year-olds do not have a great reputation in the mainstream media. Of course, this isn’t all exactly fair. Things always change from generation to generation, and ideals that were once held by people across the nation are replaced by new ones as young people come of age. The most recent cultural shifts are really nothing new, and they shouldn’t be feared by aging baby boomers.
Whether you like it or not, millennials are going to inherit the world, and marketers need to take note if they’re going to connect with the younger generation. Since approximately 59 percent of millennials use social media to gather information, this means embracing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Here are just a few tips that will help you better connect with a millennial audience through social media.
Even though older people and the mainstream media love to stereotype millennials as one demographic, this age group is far more diverse than many believe. Millennials are a diverse group, and the only thing that they all have in common is their age range. This means that there is no one advertising campaign or product that will appeal to everyone in their 20s or early 30s.
The key to finding an audience among millennials is really not that different from finding your audience among any age group. You will obviously have to tailor your content towards younger people, but you need to find out which younger people will embrace your message. Will your brand be more popular among athletic sports fans or technophiles? Will men respond to your campaign more than women? Is there a certain social group who will value your brand more than anyone else? What about audiences that have been largely ignored in the past such as LGBTQ+ people? As much as you want your brand to appeal to “everyone” in the millennial generation, it will be far more likely to appeal to a much smaller demographic. This is the way things have always been, and it’s not going to change.
Get More Involved
One thing that most millennials share is their need to feel more connected and involved when they make purchases. In many ways, this mindset is due to social media. A company Twitter account or Facebook page allows you to connect with your consumers in ways that were never possible with print and television advertising, and a lot of young consumers love that. They want to know that their opinions are being heard and addressed, and they want them to be addressed quickly. If you take the time to get more actively involved in your brand’s social media and respond to questions and comments, your consumers will feel more of a personal connection with your band and be more likely to become repeat customers.
Keep Things Short
Social media moves at a much faster pace than print and television, so shorter advertisements, articles and videos are preferable to a lengthy presentation. Many young people do love long-form content, but 41 percent of them have also stated that the main reason why they abandon content is because it is too long. Paradoxical? Maybe, but think about how content on social media is often consumed. Most millennials own smartphones and tablets that allow them to watch videos and read short articles at a glance. If they’re using these mobile devices to watch videos, they’re probably also on the move and won’t want to stand still long enough to enjoy a 30-minute infomercial. Keep your blog posts short and easy to scan, and keep most of your videos under 90 seconds long.
Make Content Easy to Share
The key to getting a large audience in the digital age is making sure that your content is easy to share. Part of this will involve keeping your content short enough that people will want to share it with their Facebook friends, but it also means focusing on entertainment as much as advertising. Young people generally don’t want a rote commercial that merely described a product; they would much rather see something clever and funny that is likely to go viral. Even if your aim is to inform your audience with your content, you can still include social sharing buttons that will make it easy to spread across different social media platforms as well as a call to action that will encourage your audience to share what they like.
Be Honest and Transparent
As we said before, millennials like to feel more of a connection with their brands of choice, and there is nothing that makes them feel more connected than a business that is honest and transparent. Millennials generally don’t respond well to things like celebrity endorsements or other traditional advertising methods. For the most part, they want to know that they can trust companies when they do business with them. When you engage with your clients, be honest and straightforward with what you have to offer, because young people will be able to see through you if you’re not. The Internet in general and social media in particular allows news to travel quickly, so the word on your brand will get out to millions of young people who practically live online. You need to decide whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.
Don’t Fear Millennials
Finally, older marketers and advertisers need to remember that they shouldn’t fear millennials. The worst articles and think pieces about millennials make the entire demographic out to be mysterious creatures who would destroy the American way of life. That might sound like an exaggeration of how the media portrays young people, but it isn’t much of one. Millennials may consume media differently from their parents, and they may have slightly different ideals, but they shouldn’t be feared or disregarded. They are the future, and you should start treating them as such. They will appreciate it.
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