In the first post of this series, we introduced the basics of how to set up your social media marketing plan for a millennial* audience. We discussed what platforms you should be on, how to focus your posts on your audience and the importance of going mobile immediately.
In this article, we will dive deeper into how to capture millennial’s attention, how to connect with them and how to get them to market your business for you. Sound like a tall order? On Q Financial is up to the challenge!
Every generation is known for busting up the mold of the previous one, and Millennials are no different.
Millennials are the least traditional generation. This means traditional, linear, life-stage advertising doesn’t work for them the way it did with previous generations. The “you have a career, now you should get married, buy a house and have a child” sequence doesn’t appeal to this generation of people who are making their own rules and ignoring stereotypical timelines.
Words like “family” and “community” even have different meanings to this generation; when they think community, they aren’t picturing their physical neighborhood. The image of community may be people who support the same cause, such as animal rescues, or people who share their pursuits, such as bike commuting, or people with similar lifestyles, like being vegan. And their family might not be people they’re related to by blood.
Rather than life stages, focus on social groups or causes that bring people of like mind together. If you can show your business supports these passions or lifestyles, you’ll gain a whole community of potential customers. But always be authentic; don’t join an online conversation pretending to be something you’re not. You can be supportive of a community without being a member of it.
Build Your Brand Evangelists
Brand evangelism is key to your marketing strategy. Brand evangelism is when current and former customers speak positively about you.
Millennials have grown up in a time when they don’t have to believe what brands say about themselves. Thanks to a plethora of reviews, Tweet-outs (getting called out on Twitter) and hashtags, millennials can search for your brand to see what their friends, or other people like them, are saying about you. 95% of surveyed millennials said their friends are the most credible source of product information.
This is especially important for the millennial generation above others. This Entrepreneur article put it best, “The best way to get your message heard among millennials is to have millennials themselves spreading the word.”
How do you get millennials to become your brand evangelists? It’s pretty simple.
The first step is delivering excellent customer service. You deliver this whether you’re Tweeting an answer to a new follower’s question, talking over the phone to a potential customer, sitting down to sign paperwork with a buyer, or following up with a past client just to see how they’re liking their new house. And then – this is where it gets even simpler – you ask.
Give your millennial clients every ounce of caring and service you’ve got, and then humbly ask for their review in return.
Millennials are a “shop local” generation. When you have delivered excellent and truly personal customer service, they come to see you as a person, as the small business owner you essentially are, and they will support you. They will recommend you, not by your business, but as a person, as “Bob, who patiently walked me through every process…twice” or “Carol, who answered my panicked calls, even at 5:05 p.m.” This personal recommendation among their friends and colleagues will go farther than any ad you could place. So pick your review location – Google reviews, Yelp, or something more pertinent to your industry – and ask happy prospects and customers to leave you feedback.
Let’s Get Visual (Visual)
Research shows that content with visuals gets more engagement on social media than content without, especially with the millennial audience. Photos, videos, gifs and infographics all catch millennials’ attention better than just words. Does this mean you have to give up on your how to articles or your Tuesday Tip Tweets? Certainly not. Simply add a funny cat meme (meme definition: humorous image that has gone viral) to your advice for new homeowners or repurpose your latest blog into an infographic.
Get Your Give Back on Track
Three out of four millennials say that is either fairly or very important that companies give back to society. Millennials are distrusting of companies they see as only profit-driven, corporate machines, in light of the financial crisis they vividly remember. They prefer brands that support their local communities or important causes.
Does this mean you have to give away your profits? Absolutely not. But showcase your givebacks, whether they’re on personal time or through your company. Show that you care about the community you want millennials to purchase homes in, and they’ll see you as a neighbor, rather than a solicitor. And which of the two are you more likely to invite in for a cup of tea and a chat?
*For the purpose of this series, we consider millennial to mean Americans aged 18 to 34 years old.