February 13, 2018
It’s estimated that there are about 80 million Millennials in the United States alone. Each year, this demographic spends around $600 billion, a number that is expected to grow to $1.4 trillion by the year 2020. Given their purchasing power, it’s not surprising that many marketers view Millennials as one of the most valuable consumer groups. But, many marketers have found it difficult to reach and win over these savvy consumers.
Millennials tend to tune out traditional forms of advertising, so commercials, billboards, and magazine advertisements are not nearly as effective with this generation as they are with older consumers. Because of this, marketers have concluded that social media is the best way to reach Millennials. In fact, 49% of Millennials surveyed say they currently follow at least one brand on social media, compared to only 25% of Baby Boomers.
Social media is clearly the right channel for brands to use when trying to reach Millennials. But, with so many social platforms to choose from, it’s hard for brands to determine where to allocate their marketing resources. Fortunately, a number of studies have been conducted to identify the most popular social media platforms among Millennial consumers.
Which Social Media Platforms Do Millennials Use the Most?
Many people have claimed that Facebook is no longer as relevant as it once was, but according to a number of recent studies, that’s simply not the case. Facebook may not be as new or edgy as other social media platforms, but it is still used by the vast majority of Millennials. In fact, 88% of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 currently use Facebook. When asked to predict how they will use Facebook over the next 12 months, most Millennials predicted their usage will stay the same. Twelve percent of Millennials predicted that they will use Facebook even more in the year ahead. Based on these numbers, it’s clear that Facebook is not going anywhere in the near future.
Another social media platform that is popular among Millennials is Instagram. Fifty-nine percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 currently use Instagram, compared to only 13% of adults between 50-64 and 5% of adults over the age of 65. Nearly one-quarter of Millennials said they plan on spending more time on Instagram over the next year, too. Therefore, it would be wise to allocate resources to this platform in order to reach Millennials.
For awhile, many marketers were investing heavily in Pinterest since experts predicted that this would become one of the Millennials’ favorite social media platforms. But, it’s estimated that only 36% of Pinterest users are between the ages of 18 and 29. Plus, most of these Millennials only access Pinterest on a weekly or monthly basis, whereas they visit other social media platforms multiple times throughout the day.
Snapchat is another platform that marketers should consider when developing a marketing plan. This platform grew fast, so many experts predicted that it would quickly surpass Facebook as the most popular social media network. However, user growth has slowed. Even though Millennials are still active on Snapchat, many people believe that its popularity will die down in the next several years. This is because the app is not adding any new and exciting features, so many users are losing interest. Therefore, it may not be wise to focus solely on Snapchat if you want to reach Millennials.
How to Engage With Millennials on Social Media
Besides using the right platform, brands also have to know the right way to engage with Millennials on social media in order to actually reach this demographic.
Older generations are more likely to unfollow a brand on social media after seeing an offensive or vulgar post, but that’s not what irks Millennials. This generation taps the unfollow button when a brand becomes “annoying,” meaning they are posting too frequently or posting content that is too sales-focused. Basically, Millennials want to engage in authentic conversations with brands, but they don’t want one single brand to flood their news feeds with multiple posts.
Millennials are also the generation that is most likely to unfollow a brand due to an unpleasant experience with them. This shows how the offline and online worlds collide—if a Millennial has a bad experience offline, they may retaliate by unfollowing the brand online. Marketers can’t prevent every bad experience, but they should be ready to respond to complaints on social media in an appropriate manner. If you respond to Millennials and either apologize or resolve the issue they are facing, they may be more willing to stick with your brand. It’s important for brands to understand that Millennials treat brands the same way they treat people on social media. If they complain about something, they expect a response.
Many Millennials admit that they follow their favorite brands on social media in order to get more information about the brand or to gain access to special discounts and deals. Therefore, it’s important for brands to think of what they are offering in return for a Millennial’s like or follow. Do you give special discount codes to your followers? Do you release new information about upcoming products on one of your social media channels? Brands need to be offering something of value in order to keep their Millennial followers happy and engaged on social media.
Marketing to Millennials is no easy feat, but with these tips, marketers shouldn’t have any trouble getting through to this demographic. Are you ready to plan an experiential marketing event that targets Millennial consumers? If so, contact Factory 360 today. Let our team of experiential marketing experts guide you through the process of planning and hosting a successful event.