Tag Archives: social media

Marketing to Millennials.. why we’re different.

Yesterday, I came across a (satirical) article on Buzzfeed titled, ‘Things Millennial Girls Love‘. While the article was hilarious and kind of true, the wheels in my head started turning about how reaching my generation of millennials via marketing (especially social media). It’s no secret that we are more plugged in than any generation before us, and that making us engaged brand ambassadors is important. We are on track to be the most educated generation in history, and make up almost 36 percent of the work force.

So then, what should we remember when trying to reach millennials?

1. We are constantly plugged in. We are so plugged in that some of us even use our phones to track our sleep (guilty as charged). We know about new technology and platforms before any other generation because we search for it to simplify our lives. These platforms have to be capitalized on within a timely manner, or it won’t have much effect.

2. We consume media in a new way. Because we are constantly connected, we’re consuming media from multiple platforms, oftentimes simultaneously. 63 percent of millennials stay up-to-date with the brands they love on social media and we are significantly more engaged in activities like reviewing and rating products than previous generations. Timely, concise information in crucial.

3. We don’t just consume content, we create it. More people than ever are blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking. We are sharing with our friends and followers the products we are using, who we are voting for and what we’re eating. This has created a unique way for everyone from brands to politicians to find out what the public is saying about them. This unique dialogue allows the immediate, personal response that millennials crave in order to become engaged advocates.

So, what about millennials in politics? By 2020, we will be 40 percent of the electorate. Over half of us gathered information about the 2012 election from social media. As discussed above, we crave unique, personal engagement from brands. This translates to our politicians. We millennials are looking to what others are saying about brands before they make a purchase, this translates to politics. Politicians and campaigns have a unique opportunity to create brand ambassadors using social networks, and we can definitely do a better job of capitalizing on it.

Face-to-face interaction – a lost art?

I’ve been thinking about communication a lot lately, particularly how we communicate with one another in today’s technological advanced society. So it struck a chord today in Dr. Raffle’s Qualitative Research Methods when communication was brought up in class discussion. While talking about a supplemental book we are reading for class and how dating has changed across generations, how we communicate was brought up as part of this discussion.

Our generation often lacks face-to-face communication skills. Even I’ve been guilty of emailing my supervisor from down the hall when I’m at work. What happened to making a phone call instead of sending an email? Or meeting someone for coffee to go over work or to catch up instead of Skype or video conferencing (and even while you’re in the same area!)? When you are able to talk with people face-to-face, it’s much easier to build relationships and establish a rapport with them.

For those of us looking for jobs or internships, or just looking to network with industry professionals, it pays to meet in person. Face-to-face interaction connects to people in ways that phone calls, emails, texts and social media cannot. (Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not bashing social media – after all it’s what I’d like to use as a foundation for my career.)

Growing up, my mother engrained into me that you should always send a hand written thank-you note whether it be after an interview, networking event, holiday, birthday or whatever, you should always show appreciation. It may sound monotonous but trust me the extra time goes a long way and it definitely gets noticed.

Another opportunity for more personal communication that often gets swept under the rug is the phone call. How many times have you text messaged, Tweeted or written on a good friend or family member’s Facebook wall for their birthday or some other event instead of picking up the phone and calling? Trust me when I tell you that a phone call goes a long way and means a lot to people (especially family!).

My last piece of advice goes out to social networking. Stop having conversations via your social networks that should really be done via more personal forms of communication like a text message or phone call. Not only is it annoying to those who follow you, but it also shows employers that you don’t know how to successfully manage social media sites.

I challenge you this week to assess how you communicate with those close to you and your professional networks, and to improve how you communicate with those around you.

Personal Branding

Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize, “Oh s**t I’m grown up! I get it now!”?? Ok, maybe you haven’t but hear me out…

As I lay in bed last night thinking about the mountain of stuff I have going on and how I’m going to do it all in a timely manner and aimlessly scrolled through my Twitter timeline, I realized that a lot of the things I see projected onto social networks is really quite silly and not projecting people in the most positive light. Now before you crucify me, I’m not judging anyone for what they choose/choose not to share, you are well within your right to Tweet/Facebook whatever your heart desires.

BUT, I realized that a lot of the stuff that I see, and that I used to talk about myself, I don’t want to share with people anymore. It’s not that I’m not concerned about love, family, friends, etc. it’s just that a lot of those things I don’t care to share with the world anymore. I honestly think it has to do with a certain maturity level (and I’m not claiming to be any more mature or wise or whatever than anyone else, because I am well aware that I’m not).

These days, I really do think before I post something on a social network. Do I really need to share this? Social networks are all about personal branding. What you share contributes to the brand you’re building and how people perceive you.

So, I guess what I’m saying here is before you post next time, think to yourself, “Do I really need to share this?” and “Does this contribute positively to the personal brand I’m trying to build?” If it doesn’t, reconsider your post!

Social media in 2012 – what’s next?

This morning I came across a Forbes article, in which predictions for the direction social media will head in 2012 are discussed.

What stood out the most was the prediction that geo-location will take off in the coming year. It’s true that 2011 saw a huge jump in the number of users on Foursquare, Facebook Places and other programs like these. (Heck, even I joined Foursquare, and even with my SoMe background I was very hesitant to share my location with the world.) What finally drew me in was the idea of getting “check-in specials”. What are these? A number of brands have created these to invective-ize shopping in their stores, and sharing what you’re doing with your friends. For example, Payless  Shoes offers $5 off a $25 purchase when you check in or the “Newbie special” 10 percent off  your purchase if you’re checking in for the first time. Also, Macy’s offers 10 or 15 percent off select sale and clearance items for checking in.

Why is this effective? Consumers want to know that the brands they know and love, and are loyal to care about them. Social media is all about two-way communication, and geo-location offers a ‘bridge to commerce’ that cannot be earned any other way.

These opportunities don’t just lie in retail. Almost every business can capitalize on geo-location technology. If set up correctly, those who check-in can earn points with each check in, which can earn them some kind of reward for checking in enough times and earning enough points.

There really is a great deal on untapped potential in this new media tool, I’m interested to see what businesses and PR pros come up with.