When I got the opportunity to be Omni’s first ever guest blogger, I thought to myself, “You’ve got to talk about something unique that you can do that usually can’t be done”. So I got to thinking and it clicked in my head, why not talk about a marketing topic as it relates to my generation – you know, those pesky millennials? We, the millennials, the people you’ve probably so often walked by and said, “those kids are always on their phone”, or, “back in my day we had imagination to keep us entertained, not TV and the Internet”.
We’re those kids who probably ticked you off by not believing something you told us and we followed it up by saying, “I’m going to google it”. Yes, yes, millennials are those kids and so much more, but despite our sometimes bad reputation, we make up 25% of the United States population and have over a trillion dollars in direct buying power. So if a business wants to tap into that buying power, it needs to start finding ways to attract those pesky millennials.
A huge thing for millennials is for brands to seem more human. If you haven’t heard that expression before, it basically means people are going to buy from whom they know and trust. Especially for millennials – with so much access to information and alternatives – loyalty and trust is your best shot at keeping a millennial as repeat or lifetime customer. Here are some of the best ways that companies can seem more human to millennials:
1. Have multiple social media accounts.
Most of a millennial’s peers are going to have more than one social media account, and so should your company! This creates more opportunities for you to reach us and it helps us trust that you know what you’re doing. If you’re a company targeting millenials and your business is only on Facebook with one profile picture, we will associate you with our grandmother who creeps on our every move on Facebook and embarrasses us on every birthday! Get on Twitter, get on a blogging site, get on Google+ and LinkedIn; do as much as your business can handle to start reaching those millennials on multiple sites.
2. Talk about trending topics on your social media accounts.
This should be a no-brainer for companies trying to seem more human to millennials. We don’t want to be spammed on our newsfeed about your 20%-off coupon every 3 hours, or reminded about your store hours. That’s not what a company trying to seem more human should do. We want to see posts that interest us too, posts that aren’t just an ad or scheme to get us to buy something. An easy way to do this is to post about trending topics. For example, the World Cup was a huge topic not only for just millennials, but also for pretty much the entire world. If you post about trending topics millennials care about, they will see that and depending on the post content, may engage with your account or share your thoughts on the trending topic. This brings me to my next point…
3. Comedy is king.
Comedy is one of the easiest ways to generate buzz around your social media posts, and millennials crave comedy! I would say over half of all posts on any of my own social media newsfeeds are comedy-based, partly because I have them set up that way, but you get the point. Millennials love comedy on social media. Think about the “memes” nowadays and how those take off; they’ve even been given their own special term when they are used to advertise called “memevertising”. If you have humor in your posts, they are more likely to be interacted with and shared. This means more people are going to be exposed to your account, not because of an advertisement, but because you posted something people enjoyed. It should be no surprise that people who enjoy your posts will keep sharing them and promoting your company’s page.
4. Ask for input/Have user-generated content.
I’m sure it will come as no surprise to many of you that millennials love to tell you what they think. We also are known for always thinking we know how to do something better. A great new tool companies have started employing is user-generated content – letting their consumers create content for them. A great example is when T-Mobile created a Facebook app that let users create their own breakup letters to their current cell-phone providers. “Let us do the work for you!” Asking a millennial for their input on something is another great way to seem more human. When a company posts something about a current event, or about a product that went wrong and is actively seeking engagement from their consumers, it lets us millennials know that our voice is being considered. As I said before, we love to tell you what we think and that will never change!
5. Show us you care.
More and more people my age are becoming increasingly concerned with so many issues, ranging from the environment, child labor, cancer research, homelessness, etc. Millennials love when brands take a stand and support something that goes along with their values. They will do the research to see what you stand for and who you support. If you’re competing against another company and your values don’t match up with ours, more than likely we are going to choose your competitor.
I want to end on this last point because, honestly, what makes you seem more human than caring about other humans?