Gen Y, the bread-and-butter marketing target of today’s hot new brands, is the most socially connected generation yet. Also known as Millennials, these customers are considered pragmatic, discerning and possessed of high standards regarding corporate social responsibility, and consumer goods and services. Their loyalty can’t be bought – it’s earned. The common wisdom in any business field is that you need years of experience or a formal education like a marketing degree or an MBA, but there may be no better way to genuinely engage this audience than to get fluent in their communication channel of choice: social media. Here’s how!
Ready, set, engage!
You don’t need a complex or sophisticated strategy to get social with Millennials. Authenticity, promptness, humor and originality are far more important than overt posturing. Be yourself, be confident and open up a conversation about what you have to offer. Not sure where to start? The best argument for your product or service is the one that motivated you to go into business in the first place. Share your rationale in simple, straightforward language—no frills necessary.
Millennials are more concerned with corporate social responsibility than any prior generation, so to secure their business, you’ll need to give back. Ask your social media audience for input about worthy causes and then start an online promotion. Choosing a local charity will allow you to maximize your impact; you’ll be twice as visible if you raise money online and in-person for a community organization.
Foster consumer testimonials and surveys, and take feedback seriously. Open-ended questions (think: ‘How well did our product/service meet your expectations?’ or ‘How can we improve our offerings?’) will return the most thoughtful answers, while a 10% discount on the next purchase should boost participation. Don’t rush to eliminate negative comments or crummy reviews; instead, respond to them publicly and keep in mind that by doing so, you’re not only establishing authenticity, but demonstrating adaptability and respect for your customers.
Social media, by nature, calls for transparency: users have to trust one another to be truthful about their identities. Savvy Millennials grew up online and they’re far from credulous consumers when it comes to information found on the Internet. Quick profits acquired through false premises are never worth the long-term risk. If you find yourself hiding key facts about your company, that’s enough of a red flag to make some major changes – not just to your social media profile, but to all of your business practices.
You’re an expert in your field and social media is all about information-sharing. So go ahead and spill some details – you’re not devaluing your business, you’re enhancing your visibility. Keep your name on everyone’s lips by discussing industry trends, challenges and your unique solutions.
Focus, focus, focus!
Laser-like precision will serve you well when targeting new consumers through social media. Study your market demographic, paying utmost attention to what garners conversation and response. Online “influencers,” the social media users most likely to repost and share content, are the key to conversions. A connection with just one influencer can bear fruit. Remember, being genuine is essential. Don’t force sales. Build relationships and deploy the language of your target market when doing so.
Have (and be) more fun.
You don’t have to confine social media content to your business or industry. Posting games, contests, videos, jokes and the random, strategically placed cute kitten pic’ can also attract consumers—as long as you remain recognizable primarily for your business offerings.
By incorporating some of these strategies into a social media marketing plan, business owners may find they’re fueling their profits – and having a blast while doing so. Millennials definitely approve of that.
This guest post was provided by Tyana Daley. Tyana is a writer for Bisk Education. She works with the online bachelor’s degrees and associate’s degrees from New England College.