“Get Lit” at Targeting Millennials (in the Opinion of One)

What are two buzz words that you can’t hear enough of? If you answered Millennial and social media, you’re right. I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about these two things, but honestly – they are the today and the future of Marketing.

A Millennial (known to some as Generation Y) is someone who was born between the mid-1980’s to the late 1990’s. Some sources say that the generation starts as early as 1976 and end as late as the early 2000’s. I’m sure you all know the trends and characteristics of the generation – now the largest generation on the planet.

Being such a massive generation could lead to some struggles on how to directly market to it. There is, however, a common denominator to the generation – social media.  Yes, if you’re a Millennial reading this and don’t agree with me, there are obviously outliers to this, but for the purpose of this post, social media is it.

As stated in the last paragraph the Millennial generation is large and yes, there are many types of people in this generation. But, I have come to learn four things that Millennials like to see in social media. I have researched and interviewed many of my friends (who are of the generation) and will use my own opinions in this post because, after all, I am a Millennial.

As I am writing this post, I have checked my Twitter roughly 10 times and have used Snapchat way more than that. I would be naïve to say that my generation isn’t enthralled in social media. It has become such an important thing; it’s commonly the first place a Millennial will look to find more out about a brand.

Here are four things will help you “get lit” in the social media world. You have to be unique, engage with your “fans,” show your personality, and give back to be successful at targeting Millennials.

Let’s break them down:


1.) Be unique

In my experiences this is the most important quality Millennials look for in an account. They want the brand to stick out from the crowd and have a personality. They want to be entertained. In some cases, the weirder the better. Two Twitter accounts that do this flawlessly are Denny’s and the City of Columbus. Here are some examples of their Tweets. You can also check out Hamburger Helper.


2.) Engage with your “fans”

Millennials want to be noticed, they yearn for attention. But in today’s world, you have a limited window to engage or they move on. You always want to keep your brand at the top of their mind, which isn’t a small task. You should engage with your fans daily and respond to any inquiries or comments almost instantaneously. Again, the City of Columbus does this well. So does Wendy’s, Chipotle, Jimmy John’s, and many other restaurants on Twitter. Here are a couple examples of how to engage with your “fans.”


3.) Show your personality

Okay, now you’re thinking: “didn’t you already say be unique?” When you think about the root personality of a brand, what do you think of? If you answered the people, you’re correct. Millennials want to know the people behind the brand and see their lives and how your brand helps those people. They want to know that your brand cares about its employees and people love working there. Let your people do that talking with their jokes, smiles, and engagement socially. Show company outings, costume contests, awards, promotions, etc. Columbus companies, Ron Foth and Fox in the Snow Café do a great job of showing that here.


4.) Give back

Millennials want to know their money is going to a good cause. This generation, more than any other, cares about helping others/the world. They want to know that your brand has a soul and is willing to share its profits with different charities and communities. Millennials are willing to pay a little more just knowing that the money is going to a great cause. Don’t be afraid to show that you’re helping others and really making your mark in the world.

Winning Millennials is sometimes difficult, as the generation is huge and very opinionated. But, you’d be on the right path to winning them if you follow these four things: be unique, engage, show your personality, and give back. Another thing to make your social media accounts standout is to use GIFs. They are engaging, show personality, and are just plain fun.

If you’re looking for some other of my favorite social accounts check these out: BuzzFeed (Twitter and Instagram), Afar Media, The University of Wisconsin – Madison, and NatGeo.

Have questions, comments, or just want to tell me your favorite brands? Tweet me: @bigalace. I am looking forward to seeing what you have to say and hearing about your success at winning Millennials.

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