How to approach millennials

Published: 28-Apr-2016

Why social media matters, explains Jeff Hilton, co-founder and CMO, BrandHive

Social media plays a critical role in the exchange of UGC (user-generated content). Research results show that 65% of millennials are disconnected from their devices for less than 1 hour per day. And much of that time is spent online with peers and friends and family in social settings.

So, if you are looking for millennials, you will inevitably find them on social media. But tackling social media is easier said than done.

Clients approach me saying 'Hey, I think I need a Facebook page.' Or 'Hey, I need a Blog.' I smile to myself because it is a common approach to begin with the tactics rather than backing up and asking: 'What can social media do for my brand, and which platforms would be best for me and what I want to accomplish?'

So, my point is that it is always wise to plan social media from a strategic perspective before jumping to specific tactics. You will get better results that way. Then, once you decide which platforms make sense, the basic steps are as follows:

  • develop platform strategy
  • establish social presence and map out content
  • produce and publish content
  • measure ROI
  • analyse and report.

And if anyone tells you that social media is difficult to track in a meaningful and accurate way, don’t believe it. It can and has to be done.

Storytelling is key to reaching and persuading millennials

No doubt you have heard this before, but communicating your product value proposition in story form is the most compelling way to appeal to a millennial consumer. But, remember, that they want to know the WHOLE story, not just what you choose to tell them.

They want to know how your brand came to be, what you stand for, features and benefits, and also what happens to the package after it is used up. They want to know what your company values and supports. They want to know the company behind the product.

Prime communications tools for this type of engaging storytelling include both video and info graphics. This demographic is plugged in at all times and wants information about your brand that they can easily access, assimilate and share with peers.

A word of caution

It is important to recognise that although there are key traits or characteristics which most millennials have in common, they are still a diverse group of individuals; not some monolithic block.

A number of hypotheses have been put forward recently regarding a more detailed segmentation of this group, but there is really nothing definitive at this point. But like any population, individuals fall on all sides of the median or norm. Nonetheless, these tenets that I have covered should assist you in better understanding the general orientation, interests and attitudes of this burgeoning population.

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