Two of the most talked about things on the internet these days are social media and millennials. Consumers expect you to reach them on the platforms they use every day, and this is especially true for the millennial demographic. Many brands want to know how to leverage social media platforms to reach this audience.
But with so much misinformation out there about what millennials want, it can be tough to decide what to try as you take a hard look at your marketing plan. One of the most obvious things we can confirm is that visual content is now more effective than ever before, as mobile usage continues to rise. This is also why we are seeing more millennials leave social platforms like Facebook, while focusing more on Instagram.
We asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share their top tips for reaching the millennial demographic on social media. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Keep It Real
Millennials don’t like companies telling them what to do or feeling like they are getting the hard sell. Instead of offering ads and promotions, reach these consumers by portraying genuine, appealing ways of life. Also, they care about what their friends and others in the digital space are saying about a product. When you want to market to them, you need to speak their language. If your business can partner with a digital influencer, you are more likely to build their trust and earn their business.
2. Stop Trying So Hard
The most important lesson I’ve learned about engaging millennials, by hiring them, working alongside them and listening to them, is that they can smell a rat right away. They value your warts more than your shiny new widget because those are authentic. Whatever you want them to see, buy or try is last on their list. They want to know that you’re not fake, you’re consistent and you’re not all about greed.
– Robert J Choi, RJC & Company Transformation Engineers
3. Know Your Audience
It’s not enough to know that millennials like Snapchat and Instagram. “Millennial” is a broad category covering millions of people with different opinions, preferences and behavioral patterns. Rather than making sweeping assumptions, do your homework. Invest in a solid market and persona analysis to discover where your customers spend their online time, and target those channels.
4. Advertise on New Platforms
The matchmaking industry is alive and kicking! As more businesses start using social media, marketers will need to be savvier with their outreach techniques. Finding new platforms that the competition isn’t using is a smart way to get millennial attention.
5. Use Video
The best way to catch a millennial or anyone’s attention on social media is to incorporate video. Be sure that the video is captioned. Viewers are more likely to read content in a captioned video as opposed to plain text without visual content.
6. Share Daily Tips and Affirmations
Send tidbits of helpful information, almost like a daily affirmation that is positive and speaks to the audience’s desires and perspectives. Include an influencer or an example of a social cause in these tidbits.
7. Use Messaging Apps
Nobody wants to call your customer service number. Nobody wants to send an email. Brands that are ready to communicate via direct messages will win. Most simple Q&As can be automated through chatbots. With that said, make sure you do have a call center plugged in to provide a great experience when there’s added complexity.
8. Market to the iGeneration
Leveraging social media to effectively communicate with millennials requires two things: listening and engaging. Marketing platforms will continue to change. Facilitating personalized, two-way communication is key. It’s important to actively listen to what your audience is saying and tailor your responses as needed, especially if your goal is to engage a younger, digitally savvy audience.
9. Talk to Millennials
If you want to understand how to reach millennials on social media, talk to them. I asked my interns last summer about their social media habits and what platforms their friends use most actively, and I was surprised to learn just how popular Instagram was relative to every other channel. However, that could change tomorrow. So whenever you want to know what is in and what is out, ask.
10. Be Yourself Across the Board
Millennials want authenticity, so be yourself on several social media platforms. If you try to be something you are not, they won’t buy it and will dismiss you faster than you can correct your misjudgment.
11. Get Attention With Influencer Marketing
I think influencer marketing is the best source to reach the younger demographic. Influencer marketing gets the attention of most people. Find leaders with a huge following and have them post about your company. It works wonders and gets huge reach.
12. Hire Millennials
Who knows millennials better than millennials? The social media industry is filled with skilled and knowledgeable millennials, so why not hire some to join your team? They understand the demographic better than anyone and they know how to communicate effectively with them.
How to Grow Your Following and Reach on Social Media
Everyone is on social media, yet only a small portion of individuals and brands have the following and influence that we all try to achieve. What is the difference between those who have a massive following, and those who just have social accounts that sit there dormant? The difference is often the content that is being created and how social users are engaging with their audience. Just take a look at any of these top Instagram influencers and see why and how visual content is quickly becoming king. The same working methods for these individuals and celebrities work for brands and businesses as well.
If you want to see what’s working best for your competition, be sure to visit their social profiles and see how they are engaging with their audiences. Once you find a formula that is working, be sure to implement the same practices into your own social media efforts.