Everywhere you look, you'll see them - on their smartphones, on their laptops, on their desktops. They're browsing online shops to buy the same set of gadgets and clothes as their friends. They dominate social networks with their selfies, Snapchats, and posts on almost every issue.
Who are they? They are the Millennials, or Generation Y.
Millennials are taking over today's market, and they're doing it fast. A staggering 80 million Millennials make up the market, and that's in the US alone. Just think of how many more millions (even billions) this generation amounts to in the global market.
The same is true in the digital space. Their embrace of everything digital has made Millennials much more technologically-savvy than the previous generations - and that's a unique trait that businesses need to be using to their advantage.
Pew Research Center reports that 75% of Millennials have at least one social media account, making them the most active demographic online - this number alone is enough reason for businesses to fixate their social strategies to this market.
Focusing on Your Millennial Market
Millennials are complicated. They love everything on-the-go. They prefer convenience and flexibility to routine. Their trait lies between self-entitlement and open-mindedness. Targeting them as a monolithic market is often one of the biggest mistakes of businesses.
Millennials are a market within a market. Within this market are the following groups:
Young professionals - Fresh graduates and those with a work experience of 2 years and above
Dependent adults - Young professionals living in someone else's home (parents or close relatives)
Independent adults - Young professionals living on their own
Marrying Millennials - Millennials who are starting their own family
The best approach is to focus on the life stages of these Millennial market groups, as their priorities and preferences differ.
For example, young professionals are more likely to be attuned to social media for business than those who are starting their own family, as they're more likely using their accounts to connect with other people. Dependent adults also have strong buying power due to their own source of income and the financial support they receive from their Gen X parents.
If you can identify the specific needs and habits of the Millennial market group you're looking to reach, developing an effective social media outreach strategy will be easier.
Solidifying Your Social Media Strategy
How do you know if your social media strategy is enough to turn Millennials into loyal customers? With the wide demographic of Millennials, you need to be as comprehensive as you can with your social media strategy.
1. It's All About the Brand Experience
If there's one thing that most Millennials look for in a brand, it's how they relate to their personal experience. Businesses that are too fixated on themselves will find it harder to break into the Millennial market.
Focus on providing a personal experience that resonates to your target market. A Millennial's brand affinity lies in engagement - 62% of Millennials say they are likely to remain loyal customers through consistent engagement with a brand.
Be transparent and authentic in order to humanize your brand and provide Millennials with a business they can relate to.
2. Pay Attention to Videos
Millennials spend a huge amount of time watching videos online - more than they do watching cable television. If they're attention is on online videos, yours should be too.
This shift in media is too big to ignore for businesses; if you neglect it, you're missing a massive opportunity to tap the Millennial market.
Apart from the visual lure, videos serve as "snackable content" for Millennials. They're quick and easier to digest than long posts.
Product demos and brand introductory videos are amongst the types of video content that you should be considering in your social media strategy.
3. Reviews Will Be Your Trump Card
Millennials are seek out peer input, reviews and word of mouth when looking to make a purchase decision, quite simply because they can, with their mobile device on hand at all times. This is why influencers are crucial in Millennial marketing - when they post a positive experience about a brand online, it's seen as more trustworthy by Millennials and can influence their buying process in a major way.
Building your brand through reviews helps in developing authenticity - one of the traits that Millennials value the most. Give more thought on your communication objectives and product positioning. Find Millennial brand advocates who can provide reviews about your brand to develop your Millennial followers.
The trends that Millennials set are not likely to go away. If anything, you'll see how these trends shape one another.
From a business perspective, understanding how each trend works and how Millennials behave within the social media landscape will help develop your understanding of this core market - and may just provide your brand with a much-needed boost.