The near-monthly launch of social media and messaging channels creates ongoing opportunities to reach millennial target audiences in ways that can be complex if you are not a millennial business owner yourself.

Never before has such a moment existed to engage millennials. Even if they’re not your primary audience, they are still influencing your buyers with their habits.

If your social strategy is “so-so” toward millennials, your (lack of) ROI will leave clues. Millennials place more value on experience over tangible objects. They are more than willing to take pictures when they are in your store or show off using your brand’s product. Conversely, they are willing to speak up and leave bad reviews, potentially driving customers to a competitor.

Word of mouth now lives online via customer reviews and social engagement like Snapchat, Instagram, twitter, Pinterest, etc. Attention spans have segmented. Consumer interests have become more inward focused. No longer are you reaching one household audience; you’re reaching four different consumers, with four different media consumption habits, using at least four different social media platforms to engage and share with their world around them.

A strong social strategy is the cost of doing business today, as multiple representations of your business now live online as opposed to one single brand identity. For that reason, brand congruence and balance is key. Whether in store or online, brands today must be telling a consistent, timely, and compelling story across all social platforms.

Millennials are influencing your future marketing efforts whether or not you consciously realize it. They will continue experimenting and adopting new messaging platforms and social media channels. They will spend their time connected with content that interests them and allows them to actively interact with your company, while expecting that you will answer their questions on their time, and provide value.

In exchange, millennials want to know what’s in it for them; they expect a return when they interact with your brand.

Three Ways to Better Engage Millennials

  1. Give for Free: Offer digital coupons, podcasts, app downloads, e-books, gifts, gifs, (short) how-to videos, event invitations, and tip sheets. Why? Millennials will remember and respect you more for it.
  2. Share & Publish Content They Like: Not content in traditional sense, but content that is authentic, educational, accurate, shocking, valuable, timely, and risky. Why? Your audience expects at least one of the above, if not all.
  3. Captivate & Delight: Make an effort to surprise and engage at multiple points of the customer journey. Why? Pre/Post-purchase expectation building will help prep the way for a smooth customer-brand relationship in future interactions and transactions.

Social media is your brand’s gateway to engage with all audiences. But, realize today that millennials are controlling online conversations and social sharing across the web. Making a lasting impression in their minds will pay dividends as they influence what content and brands that your consumers interact with, and the channels in which all consumers communicate.

Corey is a Bongo ambassador, digital marketing manager and, of course, an enlightened (not entitled) millennial. Connect with him: www.linkedin.com/in/coreynisbet

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