Confessions Of The Misunderstood
Millennials are narcissistic, entitled, and lazy.
Oh, and did I mention we have the attention span of a goldfish?
While a lot of us may find these stereotypes offensive, I see some truth in them, and brands should as well. We are the new “misunderstood” generation, but on a different level. Our access to technology has created a storm of interest, and everyone is scrambling to figure us out. So I’d like to share three social media strategies that stop me in my tracks and make me want to learn more about a company. Consider this one on the house:
The millennial generation is constantly trying to be unique and individualistic, but we still want to be a part of something. We want to be surrounded by a group of people who share the same values and ideals. If I’m on a brand’s social media account, I like to see conversations in the comment section. I want to see the person on the other end responding and being engaged with their followers. Some brands may even give their customers or followers a nickname. This helps build a community environment and allows everyone to feel connected to each other.
I feel a sense of connection to a brand if they are taking the time to respond to a concern or a comment. And those responses should be done in a timely manner. (Don’t forget, we’re an entitled generation with short attention spans.)
Organic Social Media Presence
We don’t like to be sold to. I love to see lifestyle images because it doesn’t seem like traditional advertising. I want to be able to see what I could pair a product with or what activities I could engage in with that specific product. We don’t want to feel like posts were planned, even if they were. Too much content can be overbearing, but not having enough content will drive millennial users to other pages with more. Some advertisement is fine because it shows the brand is real and trustworthy, but not an overload. If something big is going on, whether it is in pop culture, or a holiday, we like to see incorporation of that messaging into the social media post. But there’s also a dangerous side to that type of messaging. I have seen a number of brands try TOO hard to be current and throw themselves under the bus by being offensive or inappropriate. Stay away from controversial events, because the 30 seconds it took to post that content could ruin YEARS of hard work.
Sharing content through emails, social media outlets, or text messages is an everyday thing for millennials. Brands should focus on putting out content that can be shared through multiple channels. I choose to share ‘vloggers’ (video bloggers) videos that review specific brands or products that I like. I want my network to see what I am interested in, and what brands they can possibly try out. For the past few years, I have been asked by employees in certain stores, for permission to post a picture of me. They wanted to post my photo to their social media account, and how can a narcissistic millennial turn down a free exposure?
Once I saw those pictures on their accounts, I shared them immediately. Everyone likes a little attention, or to feel like they are important, and posting customer photos fills that need. There are even campaigns where customers can take a photo of themselves with products, and send it to the brand to be posted on their accounts.
Followers won’t want to see this type of content too often, but once a month, or every other month, is a good idea.
Every generation has been misunderstood at one point; it just takes open ears and eyes to figure them out.