If you’ve decided your business needs to appeal more to Millennials and Gen X’ers, addressing them via social media is the way to go. However, simply having an online presence is not enough. Tech-savvy, digitally literate millennials are aware of most of self-promotional tactics companies use online. If you truly want to reach them (and increase your revenue), you will have to be smart about it.
Social media, as a marketing channel, often is the cheapest way to promote your brand, regardless of the audience you are trying to reach.
Maintain a constant flow of engaging content
Given the rate at which new content is produced every day, you’re going to have to keep up the pace if you want to be relevant to young people. If one article a week is all you produce, they will be quick to forget about you. Make sure you can provide a constant feed of high-value content. It might be worth to create a proper content strategy and have a backlog of content you can post at any time. Once you’ve grabbed their attention with the first few pieces, you’ll have a reserve to draw from, while you create the new pieces.
Inspire, don’t patronize
When it comes to the tone of your content, make sure you are not looking down on your audience. When trying to sell the solution to customer problems, businesses tend make to the mistake of being much too patronizing. This is a red flag for millennials. Don’t underestimate their ability to learn and research subjects they aren't yet familiar with. Instead, provide them with expert insights and inspire them. Give them exclusive content (think what goes on behind-the-scenes) and reward them with freebies. This will show them that you both, value their custom and also respect their intelligence. If you have access to any insider info of value in your industry, make sure to capitalize on it - that's what can make content much more interesting.
Keep the dialogue going
Social media is all about engaging with each other and creating communities. The content you put out there has to help facilitate that - it is vital to be engaging to have an active social media presence. So, apart from creating and sharing content, you should also invest time in engaging with influencers and your followers. To boost the chances of others engaging with your content - make it as open ended as you can, so users can share their opinion on the matter.
Converse with others and say thanks for user-generated content - like fan photos or public mentions of your business. You can use such feedback to create brand loyalty. Remember, a friendly tone makes any company more appealing because then its focus is on customer experience, not sales. Note that answering customer queries on social networks has to be prompt - most customers except an answer within an hour.
Millennials like everything to be dynamic and flexible, from education to business opportunities. That’s why more and more money is being invested in online education, and why businesses invest in apps, and other online platforms.
Millennials almost always are on the go, and they have dozens of gadgets at their disposal. You should take advantage of that. Your company needs to be accessible through all these tools. That means optimizing your website, having a mobile friendly version, and maybe even a dedicated app.
Every bit of information you put on social media has to be synchronized with all other platforms. Your brand has to look coherent, regardless of where your prospects are discovering your content. If you find it difficult to maintain so many different platforms all at once, consider hiring a social media manager. Posting content online, and managing content sections is a full-time job. And one faux-pas, on one platform, can make a really bad impression - recovering from one can take weeks or even months.
No matter which social media network or content type you choose, always make that you are relevant. Posting old news or repetitive sales offers is going to damage your online reputation. Likewise, "spamming" irrelevant content that has nothing to do with your company is not going to be taken well. Your social media presence has to remain on point. There is so much information out there that you need to be clear with your messaging and always provide value.
Once your company has established what content you want to create and promote, it's crucial to stick to the plan and stay consistent. If not, it will result in a lot of wasted effort. Your audience might get interested at first, but if the quality or frequency slips, millennials will most likely find another place where to get what they need.
Investing in your social media is a must if you want to appeal to the tech-savvy customers of today. Regardless of what your company focuses on, the lack of a solid online presence is going put off many of your customers. To appeal to millennials and Gen X’ers you have to maintain an active presence, stay relevant, never patronize and always keep the dialogue flowing.