Millennials have outnumbered baby boomers since 2015, creating significant buzz around targeting the younger demographic. Regardless of the industry, attracting millennials is a hot topic of modern marketing. And the focus is entirely warranted, considering millennials make up about 25 percent of the world’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Database.
Millennials are known to be social media-obsessed, but social media marketing strategies need to be more sophisticated when catering to this very large and diverse group of people. This is especially important for occupations that interact with a variety of markets, such as meeting and event planners.
So before diving into the fast-changing world of social media marketing, what should planners know about interacting with them?
Different social media platforms serve different functions
Different social media platforms should be considered separate entities. Each varies in function, tone and audiences. For example, an American Press Institute survey found that 58 percent of millennials cite using Facebook to find things that entertain them, such as funny lists, articles, or videos, while 43 percent use Twitter to see what’s “trending” and what people are talking about. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is reserved for career and networking opportunities.
…And have distinct usage styles
Use and post frequency also vary by platform. A new survey from SCG, an advertising and public relations agency, addressed 333 U.S. high school and college students. In the study, 78 percent of respondents reported using Snapchat on a daily basis, which is slightly more than the 76 percent who reported daily Instagram use. Meanwhile, Facebook usage was even lower, at 66 percent. Therefore, your social media plan should follow the conventions of particular platforms. Post frequency is part of its etiquette and definitely has the potential to enhance or harm your reach. Over-representation can be harmful to your brand’s image.
Subgroups must be considered
Although it is often overlooked, considering demographic subcategories is crucial component in targeting millennials. Factors such as age, gender, location, education and ethnicity all interact in creating important subgroups. For instance, male millennials aged 20 to 25 years old in Ohio generally have different behaviors and patterns than female millennials 30-35 years-old in Los Angeles. Both are millennials, and that information matters, but other factors also hold weight as well.
A survey of more than 1,000 people showed that Instagram and Snapchat usage varied greatly by age even though both groups were in the millennial range. Survey respondents 20 to 25 were very likely to have these accounts on mobile apps, whereas those 26-35 were far less likely. (Ipsos – just for my reference when I link this later)
Millennials may have many shared tendencies, but within the group a lot of differences emerge depending on other, distinguishable factors. Understanding group patterns makes for an effective approach.
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