As marketers, you keep on reading about what Millennials (Gen. Y) want and need.
Who they are, what they look like and where they spend their time online.
And there are loads of reports, articles, blogs and whitepapers that will tell you why you should talk to all these generations differently.
But almost no one tells you how and what this means.
Because it’s hard.
And kinda impossible.
As Kristal Smile said at SAScon: “It’s seductive to be reductive – marketing to an entire generation is lazy. You need to know who you’re talking to”.
— Latitude (@Latitude_Group) June 17, 2016
This is my attempt to figure it out …
The basics – who are the Millennials?
Ever heard of those selfish pesky little kids that don’t let you get away with it?
They’re the Millennials.
We’re born between about 1980 and 2000 so now, we are between 18 to 35 years old.
And I say we because I was born in … as if I would actually say it. How cheeky!
We grew up with the internet and e-magazine, blogs and podcasts. We’ve been marketed to through all possible channels, and seen the rise and fall and rise (again), of all possible marketing techniques.
As for “old school traditional” marketing, we’re not fans of it. Cold calls, bulk sent spammy emails and flyers through the mail box are NOT going to make us buy your product.
You really can’t get away with it.
We like personalisation – communications that appear to be crafted specifically for us.
And that’s not because we’re selfish, as many have labelled us.
It’s due to the vast amount of new products released. On a daily basis, we have to make a million decisions, from what to wear, to what type of cereal we want to have for breakfast.
So a brand that knows and understands us, simplifies that decision making process on our behalf.
But more choice also leads to less brand loyalty. If one brand fails us, there’s always the next one battling for our attention.
And they do so through Facebook.
Millennials on Facebook
50% of millennials in the UK are on Facebook.
And 50% of 18-24 year-olds go on Facebook when they wake up.
But what do Millennials do on Facebook?
Compared to previous years, data shows Millennials share fewer personal stories. Instead, we post more third party articles to educate friends and make them feel something (sharing of funny videos and memes).
And we like to shout about all the good things in our life.
According to Expedia’s Millennial Travel Report, 56% of Millennials posted a photo/video of their holiday on a social network whilst away.
Facebook is also used to keep tabs on what our friends are doing and if what they’re sharing is the same. Look at it as “peer validation”.
We’re now sharing personal stories to more private social channels such as Snapchat and WhatsApp.
For marketers, this doesn’t mean you need to move away from Facebook.
It means the stories you share need to provide value and be worthy of the attention and engagement. A well-crafted message with a great story will spark our interest.
However, if you just share a piece of content because you had to post something on Thursday to fulfil the weekly quota of posts, then you’re probably wasting your budget and time.
Especially if you want to reach the younger part of Generation Y and take into consideration the fact that Facebook is the preferred channel for public complaints about a brand
So before you post anything on behalf of your brand, ask yourself this:
Would you share this on your personal Facebook profile?
If the answer is no, then you know it’s not good enough.
How to find the right way to talk to Millennials on Facebook
Not all Millennials are the same.
Marketing to all of us is just lazy.
And even though generational marketing can work, it’s important to understand that it’s a starting point to look at Millennials.
From there, you dig deep into your channels and create a customer profile based on real data.
Start with your own page’s insights and analyse the data. You’d be surprised at the amount of useful information you can get.
Once you know and understand the needs and concerns of your audience, you’ll be able to craft and devise a strategy that provides what your customers want, when they want it, making it more likely for them to move along the purchase funnel.
Which, in the end, is what we’re in the business of doing here. Creating content to generate more sales.