The Selling Power of Social Media Among Millennials

by Amanda Lin, Marketing Coordinator, SOCi

They grew up with social media, love #hashtags and selfies, and thrive off the number of likes and followers they receive. They are millennials.

Born between 1980 and 2000, millennials make up 25% of the world's total population. Their immense volume gives them the power to decide whether a trend lives or dies, to spread information at the speed of light, and change how your brand is perceived by the public.

In fact, millennials spend more than $65 billion every year—that's a lot of purchase power! They are quick to adopt the newest trends and products, you can attract their attention to do so through social media. They love to connect and be connected with, especially by businesses like yours through digital conversation.

Let's get that conversation started. Great social media strategies help increase sales and breed brand advocators, so this could be the beginning of a beautiful friend request.


Ways to Connect With Generation Y on Social Media

In order to sell to Generation Y, brands and businesses need to be where they are. Millennials have engaged with social networks since they were young and as a result, posting, commenting and liking have become second nature. Staying up-to-date with their social timelines has become an integral part of their daily routine.

It comes as no surprise that Facebook is the most popular social platform among millennials, with 41% of them reporting that they use it every day. Twitter is almost equally valuable to millennials as 61% of their users fall into the Gen Y category.


Crafting Engaging Content

Trend Watching. Millennials love to keep up with all the latest trends and hot topics. They suffer from "FOMO," or the fear of missing out. This causes them to constantly surf their social timelines for new hashtags and articles to guarantee they’re always in the loop.

Establish your brand as one that is geared toward millennials by tracking the same trends that they are on social media, and putting your own spin on that hashtag, meme, or topic. Don't forget to incorporate the hashtag when sharing it so your business can be found.

Inspire with Influencers. The rise of social media has also helped create the rise of the social influencer. Social influencers are those who have used social platforms to establish credibility and a following within a specific industry or industries. Influencers talk about and review everything from makeup to recipes, and millennials are definitely listening.

With 60% of millennials reporting they would try a product suggested by a YouTuber and 33% of them considering blogs to be a top media source when researching new products, working with influencers is more important than ever.

Millennials are looking to buy from those that they look up to, relate with, and trust. Since they identify with influencers, they are more prone to go out and try what one suggests. More importantly, social influencers are seen as trendsetters, automatically falling under the "cool" category for millennials.

Repost, Regram, Reshare. Reposting or sharing a photo that a customer has taken of your product or service is one of the easiest ways to engage with millennials online. Generation Y has stated that user-generated content is 35% more memorable than other pieces of media and trust it 50% more than brand-produced content.

User-generated content helps a product or service gain more credibility. Audiences are more likely to trust their peers' recommendations and promotions than one by the company itself. UGC is 20% more influential on a millennial's purchase decision than all other media types.

Go Mobile

Millennials are extremely active on their mobile devices with 51% of them stating that they spend most of their online browsing time on a smartphone. After creating and curating all your social content, make sure it displays properly on mobile devices. This includes having profile and cover images that are centered properly on smartphones and tablets.

More importantly, check that all the content you create and share on your profile is mobile-optimized. Promoting articles or web pages that are not built for mobile viewing could cause frustration and lead to a loss of trust. 28% of millennials prefer to shop on their smartphones instead of their computers. So if you're linking to a purchase page, make sure the buying process is seamless. Broken pages could also cause a user to not click any more of your links or even unfollow your page.


Gain Trust With Reviews

Millennials are avid review leavers and readers, as 93% of them read online reviews before making a purchase decision. They view word-of-mouth and customer feedback as a trusted avenue of marketing. Prior to trying a new restaurant or exploring a new place, millennials feel the need to skim reviews to know that it is worth the visit. Garnering more reviews will help build trust and credibility between you and your customers.

Encourage your customers to leave reviews by incentivizing it. Additionally, millennials love coupons as much as the generations before them. Increase the number of reviews you receive by giving away exclusive deals to those who leave one. You can also raffle off monthly prizes, like a gift card to drive more sales and brand loyalty.

Millennials are constantly on social media, consistently scrolling through their timelines for the latest and greatest trends. Capture their business by being agile on social media and regularly transforming your messaging, adapting the latest trends, and sharing a genuine brand voice.

Countless brands have achieved this by using a social media management platform like SOCiTalk to us.

Jacob Chappell, VP of Sales at SOCi, will be taking to the YMS stage in New York this October. Haven't got your tickets for YMS NYC 2017 yet? Head on over to our event page for more information on the biggest youth marketing conference in America.