Sure, you’ve heard it said before: Social media marketing is vital in today’s business world. But any business who desires to market itself via social media must understand the changing behavior patterns of Millennials in order to experience success.
Why? Because they are a large percentage of who your business is reaching. Every day, 71% of all Millennials use social media for an average of 5.4 hours each. Not only that, but Millennial behavior is currently the greatest driving force behind the latest social trends and topics. In order for your business to remain relevant and effectively make an impact on social media, you must determine to understand how today’s Millennials are thinking in regards to this powerful marketing medium.
The following list reveals five current Millennial viewpoints concerning social media that directly affect your business’ marketing tactics:
1. “We’re not just a bunch of young interns anymore.”
Before further diving into current Millennial views of social media, we must debunk the myth that Millennials are “just a bunch of kids.” For too long, they have been viewed as such, which undermines their credibility and potential impact on society as a whole. This generation is growing up and steadily climbing the corporate ladder. This means that a significant portion of them might even have the ability to say, “Yes” or “No,” to your company’s proposals. Businesses who stereotype all Millennials as “young and naïve” are only cheating themselves from the benefits that come from understanding this age group. Adapting the Millennial perspective into your business’ marketing strategies is a wise decision that no business owner should take lightly.
2. “Our interest in social media platforms is changing.”
While Facebook is still the dominant social media platform among all age groups, a recent 2016 study found that more non-Millennials currently use Facebook than Millennials do. Facebook and Instagram usage among Millennials has recently flat lined: Neither platform is increasing in popularity, yet neither is losing their current standing. Twitter is currently decreasing in Millennial usage. Meanwhile, Snapchat is steadily increasing in popularity with this age group every day.
So, what does this mean for your business’ social media marketing? We’re not suggesting that your business pull back from certain social platforms; we simply want to point out the shift in recent behavior so that your business is aware and is open to expanding to other platforms. It is also essential for your business to be aware of what each social media platform’s users are expecting to see when they log on. Click here to find a comprehensive list of what users expect to see on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat feeds.
3. “Show us something we can share.”
Does your business want to harness the full power of social media? Then, you must create content that people will want to share. Basic human nature causes people to have the inherent desire to help others. This common trait manifests itself on social media through the incessant use of the “Share” button. If Millennial social media users come across a post that they think will give, advise, warn, amuse, inspire, amaze, or unite them to something or someone, then they are extremely likely to share this post with their friends.
The reality is that today’s Millennials are more likely to share someone else’s content than they are to create their own. Think about your current Facebook newsfeed: Original content is becoming increasingly rare to see, while shared videos and memes are absolutely inescapable. Shared content speaks on the behalf of social media users and shows who people are and what they’re interested in. Will your business’ content be the next viral post that everyone wants to share?
4. “We’re starving for authenticity.”
This Millennial viewpoint may not be as obvious as the others. Sure, shared content is flooding social media at an all-time high, but this does not mean that Millennials are ceasing to speak for themselves altogether. This generation craves authenticity and genuine connections that are found from personal interaction and original content.
So, where do they find this type of authentic connection? Millennials do share personal content and express their own wants and needs, but this has shifted from public forums, such as Facebook newsfeeds, to private forums, such as Messenger, direct Snapchats, GroupMe, WhatsApp, etc. These more intimate social platforms are where the majority of Millennials currently share their own, personal content.
Your business can capitalize on this new reality by engaging with Millennials who may reach out through private apps, like Messenger. If this occurs, your business can offer more personalized information regarding your products and services and can tailor this information to meet these Millennials’ needs. This personalized approach significantly increases the chances of converting social media users into new customers.
5. “We really love shiny, new things!”
Today, more than ever, Millennials are attracted to “shiny, new things” on social media platforms. These include the use of emoticons for Facebook reactions, live streaming options on Facebook and Instagram, the opportunity to upload “stories” on Snapchat and Instagram, and the most popular “shiny and new object:” augmented, virtual reality selfie filters on Snapchat. All of these newer social media trends are increasingly interactive and are consistently growing in popularity at rapid rates.
Your business can get in on the action by testing out how these new interactive social media opportunities can further showcase your products and services to Millennials. This can include the use of Snapchat or Instagram stories to give your followers a behind-the-scenes look into your business. Asking for emoticon reactions or using live streaming are other useful ways that your business can increase engagement on your social pages.
As we stated above, Millennial behavior is currently the greatest driving force behind the latest social trends and topics. In order for your business to remain relevant and effectively make an impact on social media, you must determine to understand how today’s Millennials are thinking in regards to this powerful marketing medium.
Your business must be sure to view Millennials properly: as young professionals who are steadily climbing the corporate ladder. You must also understand Millennial expectations for each social media platform, then strive to accomplish the ultimate goal: creating content that users will want to share. It is also crucial for your business to understand that today’s Millennials are craving authenticity on social media and they are becoming more inclined to share original content in private forums to achieve this. Determine that your business will consistently remain aware of what’s new on social media. Then, decide how to use these new trends to attract attention and stay relevant in the public’s mind.
Need some help jumpstarting your social media journey? Contact us! Let us help you stay up-to-date and create the right content that is sure to get your business noticed!