Gokce Arslan | Social Media Strategist
Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic cohort following Generation X and preceding Generation Z. Researchers and popular media use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years, with 1981 to 1996 a widely accepted definition. While originally typecast as financially dependent teens, today’s Millennials include young adults in their 20s and 30s. Many have careers, are raising kids and live in their own homes.
Marketers have been focusing heavily in recent years on marketing to millennials as they establish households and come into more spending power. According to Accenture, millennials spend about $600 billion in the United States each year and their average yearly expenditures total around $47,112. With Millennials being the largest segment of consumers today, they have changed the landscape of marketing not just for them but for everyone. For companies offering a better digital experience catered towards Millennials, they are also making it easier for customers of other generations to get in contact with the company and see more information than previously available. For marketing professionals, catering to Millennials means focusing on social media and digital marketing which allow two-way communication between companies and consumers.
How Do Millennials Use Social Media?
Their thought pattern is completely different from the predecessors. Millennials grew up in the technologically driven world that created online and socially networked experience. Social networks are an extraordinarily important part of Millennials’ digital lives, in part because social networks have become much more than a way to connect
about personal matters. At the same time, we know that Millennials increasingly want to take more control over social media, manage their time there, and improve the quality of what they see. Various people expressed a sense of frustration for having too much information, taking up too much of their time, and containing too much content that wasn’t worthwhile or related to them.
What Do Millennials Expect from Brands on Social Media?
Making a product, service or company attractive to Millennials takes creativity, understanding social media algorithms, creating engaging content, enticing audiences to create user generated content, and more. Millennials are not easily swayed by traditional marketing tactics and messages and as stated before, they are generally overwhelmed by the clutter of messaging that they are exposed to each day online and on social media platforms. Marketing professionals must cut through the clutter and make Millennials feel a connection to a brand. As a millennial marketer myself, I definitely see the shift that my generation has caused in marketing. As we move further into the “right now” mindset, we see a generation that is not afraid to make an impulse decision if they see the right marketing at the right time; however, they also have higher expectations for companies and believe that companies should know their needs. As we move further into a generation of buyers that seem to be more surface level, we are realizing that this young group of people actually cares about motive and transparency more than previous generations. We also see a generation that is more emotionally engaged than other generations, and loyal to certain brands because of that.