Marketers are no strangers to the power of social network and the impact it has on millennials’ buying decision. Packed with the collective purchasing power of $200 billion, they are definitely an attractive market for businesses of all sizes. Generation Y is considered a coveted market segment for all the right reasons. Even though they hold considerable value, there are just a handful of brands who have successfully leveraged its true potential and built a rapport in a place they thrive the most – social media.
If your target audience is this selfie-obsessed, “YOLO” (You Only Live Once) style generation Y, then here are some things you need to know to effectively capture their interest and win them over on their turf.

  1. Transparency can be very rewarding

Gone are the days when marketers could hide behind ambiguous marketing messages. The well informed youth like their products and services to be clear as a day. The best technique to grab their attention on any media platform is to use honesty and transparency. Being authentic sets you apart and builds a strong foundation with your potential customers at the very onset. When you add elements of clarity with legitimacy, you cultivate a brand that stands for what it believes in. The current generation can instantly connect with this ideology and can even be forgiving if you own up to your mistakes. The ancient strategy of using over-promotion and dishonesty to lure customers may give short term results but remember, you are in this for a long run. When you are transparent, you put all the cards on the table, allowing the trust to build organically.
Additionally, you can also give your customers the incentive of giving something back to the community in exchange of their association with you. The futuristic generation today wants to interact with a brand that not only brings value to them but also to the society as a whole. Brands that have a clear purpose and holistic growth plan attract a young crowd and fare the best on these social platforms.

  1. Give them something intangible, an experience

This demographic that holds incredible purchasing power is not swayed by flashy ads. They will part with their money only if they have a high brand perception. One of the biggest factor that influences their buying decision is how the brand is perceived by their peers. It is common for the present generation to ask friends, refer to third party sites for unbiased reviews and even ask their social network contacts for their opinions before making a purchase. This generation is greatly influenced by peers, and as many as 80% buyers consult these platforms before buying anything online. While this can be like walking on egg shells for small marketers, the good news is that you can generate a lot of positive word of mouth by giving them a little more than they asked for. When your customers take home more than they expected, they are bound to leave you raving reviews. All this can be achieved without going overboard with your marketing strategy. The key is to deliver what you promised and never back down when it comes to going the extra mile. Giving your customers an experience and satisfaction will go a long way in establishing trust as well as loyalty.

  1. Friends of your Customers are your Friends

If you think that the people buy from companies and brands, then you are in for a rude shock. When your customers place their trust in you, they don’t trust the company but the representative that embodies your brand. One of the best ways to get millennials excited about your product or service is to get one of their friends or peers on these media channels to represent you. Influencers can be a be-all-and-end-all of your social media marketing strategy. They have a lot of power in them to direct their peers towards your products. The best way to speak to your customers is to do it through their friends they trust and not through the intimidating brand language.
In fact, if your influencers have a positive experience with you, they will be happy to promote you anyway. It is common for Generation Y to share their good experiences on social networks. This simple strategy can have an unparalleled impact and prove to be more effective than the conventional marketing techniques. If you are looking to engage this crowd, then what you need is a reliable influence with an unforgettable brand experience with you.

  1. Connect with them in a way that matters

No matter where you are advertising and who you are advertising to unless your strategy is geared towards the right crowd at the right time, all your efforts will be in vain. With so many social network options, blindly getting you out there alone will not make the cut. After all, one size does not fit all. You need to channel your energies on the right platforms so that you can influence the exact target audience.
What you need to give them is content that is snack sized. Vine is a popular medium to share short videos that relay your message without asking for too much time. Small 6-second bytes will be processed by the millennial more voraciously than articles skimming. The idea is to create a strategy that is more one-to-one than one-to-many. Giving faces to names, creating meaningful moments, and more personalized content can go a long way in creating deeper connect, something that the millennial generation craves for these days.

  1. Be a friend to them first

The generation today lives and breathes friendships. It is very important for them to have a large social circle. In fact, they have a huge network of friends on all social channels, than they have in their real lives. If you want these people to feel a special relationship with your brand, then you need to incorporate all the qualities of a friend in your brand and its message. You must come across as sociable, likable, honest, genuine and mature. This is what they look for in their friends, and a brand that is all that and more would find an instant connect with their millennial target audience. Establishing that kind of relationship with your customers will promote sharing of your content and experiences they have had with you, influencing others in their social network to do the same.

  1. Never let their loyalty go unrewarded

Every time a customer shares your product/service or recommends them to their friends, they should be rewarded for it. Referrals are a big thing on social networking sites, so make the best of it by encouraging your customers to get more people into your company fold by recommending you to them. Be creative with your reward and recognition strategy and inspire them to repeat their purchases with you. Give them cash rewards, credit points, loyalty points, referral schemes, etc. The idea is to let them know that you acknowledge their efforts for taking your brand to the next level.

  1. Never stop being fun

Generation Y today can be easily paralyzed by fear of missing out on all the awesome things they see on their Facebook walls or Instagram feed. It is a big part of the social network, and an average millennial takes that very seriously. It can be a great opportunity for your brand to engage your customers in a fun and memorable ways. Live experiences and unforgettable moments are something that can gain a lot of traction on social networks through sharing. Some of this content can even go viral, giving your brand a lot more visibility than you expected.
You can also use the power of humor and memes to get the target audience attracted to your brand and its message. People between ages 18-to-34 years almost never take themselves too seriously and enjoy some self-deprecating humor. The content that can let out a chuckle is more likely to be shared, than anything else. Having said that, brands can leverage this growing trend by creating shareable content that has the ability to catch-on.
The millennials are a mottled group who want much more from their brands than meets the eye. Marketing is certainly a tad trickier in this case, but once you get onto their good side, selling yourself and your brand becomes joy ride that you take together with your customers. Just leave the room open for creativity and approach your target audience on social media, armed with an appropriate strategy.

About the Author: Donna Amos

I believe you can achieve anything you truly want to achieve. “It might sound trite, but time and time again, I’ve seen it happen with my clients. They overcome the fear of exposing themselves to the possibility of failure to creating profitable exciting businesses. My clients do great work, and sometimes it only takes someone else believing in them to give them the confidence to step out and take the chance.”