The Millennial-aged audience is known for being difficult for marketers to reach — to the point where some sources have referred to them as the Hardest-to-Reach Generation. If you’re not a Millennial, then some of the hits (such as Wendy’s sassy social media presence) and misses (like these epic marketing fails) in the social media world might be a little confounding. Millennials don’t seem to follow the old formulas of brand loyalty, hyped-up advertorial messaging, and clear-cut calls-to-action like previous generations did.
If you want to attract Millennial followers to your social media accounts, then try out these newer strategies to get some real results without alienating this tech-savvy generation:
Internet memes are extremely popular amongst the Millennial demographic, but they’re not always a guaranteed hit if you use a meme improperly in your marketing campaign. Rather than assuming your brand’s meme is funny because it follows the formula, consider asking a real Millennial (or several) before posting the meme to gauge their responses. Once it’s published out in the open, a bad meme can drive Millennials away from your social accounts (because it looks like you’re trying too hard), so don’t let internet humor backfire on you and do some careful market research to see what’s actually considered funny for this demographic before posting anything.
Millennials hate being sold to. No matter how successful different copywriting strategies were before the Internet exploded in popularity, they probably won’t work nowadays if there’s anything more than a subtle suggestion to “consider” looking at some products or services (don’t bother outright suggesting they should buy something until they’re well into your funnel). This means your calls-to-action should be softened from “Buy This Right Now!” to “Visit our website to learn more about how our services are helping other people like you.”
Want super shareable content? Research shows that info-tainment (informative + entertaining content) is one of the best ways to reach Millennials. It’s not that Millennials are constantly distracted and have short attention spans like the stereotypes might lead you to believe. Instead, there is simply so much available information online and many more interesting activities they could be doing besides reading your content that you need to give them a reason to want to continue reading. Make your content stand out with striking visuals and add appropriate humor or fascinating facts to spice up what might otherwise be dismissed as boring, barely-disguised marketing copy.
The American Marketing Association points out that Millennials as a group appear to be driving brands to become more socially responsible. This includes ethical treatment of any living beings involved in the creation of products (e.g., lab animals or factory workers), corporate philanthropy, and other projects that demonstrate you’re in it for more than just profits. If your brand contributes to different causes or supports socially conscious campaigns, then be sure to highlight that in your social media posts!