As a millennial, I have a myriad of opinions and insights on what makes this demographic tick. I’m surrounded by friends and colleagues who are millennials, and I study this demo as a PR professional. The American Marketing Association claims that this 18 to 34-year-old segment is a marketing “sweet spot.”
Millennials want to be perceived as passionate and belief-driven. They want to support, work for and contribute to causes they believe in. They want to experience life and build community wherever they go. That’s why there has been a millennial trend of investing in things that will enhance their experience.
Businesses are catching on quickly. Companies like Madewell and J. Crew use Instagram to convey a lifestyle and build a community around their products. Pitchfork and Third Man Records gives their music-loving community a behind-the-scenes look at various musicians, performances and staff on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Couch-surfing and Airbnb-like businesses have entered the market because of the trust in a community that is built into their services. So how can you join these businesses in marketing to millennials?
If you want to convey your brand’s vibe on social media, a picture is worth a thousand words. A powerful image can catalyze engagement immediately. We see images go viral every day in social media, and engagement is a key factor in reaching millennials. This visual generation is drawn to things that catch their eye. Over 90% of the 150 million people on Instagram, the primary image driven social media platform, are under the age of 35, according to Social Media Beast. And Facebook gets 37% higher engagement on posts with images. This is not to say that witty text and catchy captions are out the window. Research shows that keeping posts short and sweet (between 100 to 250 characters) gets 60% more likes, comments and shares.
For example, Warby Parker launched a “Which Pair” social media campaign. They posted an image with someone wearing 2-4 different pairs of glasses. The caption introduced the WP staff member and named the glasses frame styles. Followers were asked to sound off their opinions. So, the lesson here is to hook them with the image and reel them in with the text.
This generation is forcing some of the big dogs to get creative in order to get millennial heads to turn. Once a millennial is “sold” on your brand, keeping them engaged gets a lot easier. These brand advocates will essentially advertise for you by stamping a friendly face onto your message, at no cost to you.
Start thinking about how your company impacts your community. How can you enhance the experiences of those around you with your products and services? Think like a millennial!