Why are Millennials so difficult to reach?
The answer to this question is much more simple than one would expect, diversity. Millennials are comprised of anyone ages 18 to 35, which encompasses many different interests, trends and life stages.
So how do you connect with Millennials using social media? The only way to properly connect to this ever-changing group is to know your audience and avoid being white noise.
Take a deep breath, exhale, and smile; WE GOT THIS.
Know Your Audience
First things first, each company has it's own unique target market. If you haven't found your target market, I'd suggest 10 Questions to Ask Before Determining Your Target Market.
Find Your Specific Millennial Persona
It's a terrible, not to mention, impossible idea to try and reach every single Millennial. It's best to divide this large group of individuals because of the extreme diversity. For example, think of how an 18 year old high school student would be using social media compared to a 30 year old young professional. Quite a bit different, right? The high schooler, might use YouTube to watch funny videos, while the young professional might use Facebook to stay connected with friends, family, and coworkers. If you're unfamiliar with the social media platforms, take a look at Social Media Marketing: Which Platform is Right for your Business.
Don't be afraid to ask.
Asking your customers what they like, don't like, and want to see is absolutely crucial to understanding your audience. This tactic gives you a better understanding of your target market as well as showing them that you care about their well being. Some popular ways of accomplishing this can be from online polls, phone calls or simply talking to current customers who fit this persona. Listen to what THEY have to say and not what YOU want to hear. Be prepared for both positive and negative criticism and try to remember to not take these opinions personally. Successful business shouldn't change but rather adapt or pivot their directions upon these constructive criticisms.
Don't Be White Noise
It's no secret that Millennials are exposed to an extremely high amount of products and advertisements. Listed below are a few ways to give your business a personality to help stand out from the crowd.
Post Engaging Content, Not Products
When a Millennial is ready to buy a product, they will go to an e-commerce website or the store and buy the product. Social media's role is not selling a product but rather selling the business and unique personality to customers. Try selling the experience a customer can expect from using your product or service instead of trying really hard to sell the product. Something to remember is that each Millennial consumes different types of content which reflects their personal preference. With so many similar companies and products in the market, your customers most likely choose your brand because of the individual connection they have with it. Millennials use brands to express who they are and what they like to do. So sell your brand and the Millennials who connect with your ideals and personality will be drawn in. In the study of the importance of brands that reflect personalities by Statista, Millennials overwhelmingly agreed that it's important for them to find brands that reflect their personality.
Provide Your Audience Quality, Not Quantity
The main goal is to portray confidence, provide value and create a personal friendship between your business and your current and future customers. However, I've seen it all too many times when a business creates their Facebook page and immediately jumps off the deep end posting too much useless content, only to drive customers away. Over-posting can give off the impression that your business is begging for attention, weak or just simply annoying. At the same time, not posting or at least interacting with your customers on social media implies that you don't really care about connecting to your target market. Finding the right content and consistency is the challenge of social media marketing that requires you to engage with customers and not just market to them. In addition to this, each social media platform has its own unspoken rules of right and wrong ways to properly use each one. Following brands that you like or competitors will help you get a feel for best practices.
Find a Balance
It's important to understand that your social media efforts aren't black and white, good or bad, successful or unsuccessful, right or wrong. It's the degree in which you influence and provide value to your customers. You want to continually see an increase or growth of customer interaction to your social media over time. The process takes time to see what works and what doesn't work with your audience. In addition, don't be afraid to take chances and learn from each outcome to understand more about your target market. Some factors that could influence your social media efforts are timing, (specific time of social media usage,) wording of language, (using trendy words specific to audience,) type of content posted, (political, new technology, recent news, comedy,) frequency, (how often you post content,) and interaction, (level of communication with customers and comments.)
After understanding your audience and providing some valuable content, you'll be able to connect to your Millennials in no time. A couple of quick things to remember are:
- Determine your ideal of Millennial persona to target
- Ask and listen to your customers
- Post content, not products
- Provide quality content
- Find you social media balance
A few other great posts to check out on Millennials are What To Know When Marketing To Millennials and Four Rules For Companies That Want to Engage the Millennial Generation.