How do you hit it off with the social media savvy Millennials?
The world has changed at warp speed with the advent of social and mobile. We have so many tools that allow us to collaborate and listen. We’re ecstatic about the two-way dialogue we can have with our customers, but the reality is social isn’t about a simple two-way dialogue between the brand and the customer. And it’s certainly not about us.
The role of marketers is changing and we are no longer broadcasters but facilitators of interesting and engaging conversations.
Marketers are now the “party hosts” and it’s our job to get the conversation started between like-minded people. For brands, this means the people that are talking about your brand; and the challenge is not to get them talking to you, but talking to each other.
So how do we know social opinions matter? A recent study has found that 70 per cent of Millennials or Generation Y – those people between the ages of 18 and 34 – say social opinions are the most trusted form of advertising. Millennials also know that their social opinions matter to others. Seventy-one per cent aren’t sharing for the brand’s benefit; they’re sharing for the benefit of those engaged with online communities.
We can’t underestimate the current impact and rising influence of the Millennials. By 2017, they will have more spending power than any other generation – £125 billion annually and £6 trillion in their lifetime. And if we don’t respond the way they want us to, they’ll take their multi trillion pound buying power and find someone who will.
Follow these four action points to get the Millennials party started:
Marketers must create an environment that is relevant to Millennials; and personalisation is key to this. By leveraging the interest graph not the social graph – meaning shared interests and hobbies rather than simple recommendations from friends – marketers can begin to create compelling and personal conversations between people who really care about your brand.
Listen up and watch
Observe the language Millennials use when talking about your brand and speak with the same tongue. They have grown up in the digital age so communicating fast furiously is second nature to them. Further enrich the conversation by engaging with photos, videos, infographics, and mobile apps.
Create conversations between like-minded people, not friends
Facebook may be the centrepiece of many social strategies but why send your partygoers to Facebook rather than your own website? On Facebook, Millennials are more likely to be hearing from their own friends and family rather than from the like-minded strangers they’re craving to have conversations with. If you’re going backpacking in Europe this summer and looking for the best hostel in Prague, are you going to trust the opinion of a friend on Facebook who’s never been to the Czech Republic?
Social opinions’ impact on purchasing power
Millenials are extremely clear on the type of products they wouldn’t buy without social opinions as a driving factor. Nearly one out of two Millennials won’t even consider buying major electronics without the opinions of others. This is also true for high value items like cars, travel and insurance. It’s our job to understand what opinions really matter to Millennials, and find ways for them to share these opinions with others like them who care about your brand.
This is what Millennials expect, and if we don’t give them what they want quickly, they’ll find it elsewhere. If you host a party where they’re having fun, meeting new people and learning interesting things, they will be the last to leave. And that’s a £6 trillion party worth having.
Erin Nelson is CMO at Bazaarvoice.
Main image Bigstockphoto.com