Everyone acts like a millennial, even you.

The truth is in today’s world (hustle bustle, mindless scrolling, instant gratification), we all act like millennials. People like to curmudgeon this generation and its “everyone gets a trophy” upbringing, but when you look at the world around us and how we behave in that world, the truth is some pretty great things have come from Gen X/boomers assimilating to millennials rather than vice versa. You may have heard the term “millennial minded.” Where would we all be without our Amazon Prime accounts, Netflix series, Instacart deliveries and social media profiles, just to name a few?

Social media is one of the most prominent ways in which we all act like millennials.

It’s also one of the most prominent tools to reach the millennial minded in your marketing efforts…and not just for top of the funnel. Yes, awareness and consideration are social’s sweet spot, but with new tools like Curalate and shoppable Instagram, conversion is gaining ground quickly. But this article isn’t about conversion strategy (promise to write that later), it’s about how your brand can act like a millennial in social to appeal to the mass millennial-minded consumers.

I recently read a quote by Andrew Davis in his new book called Brandscaping that I think sums up the power of social to reach the millennial-minded consumers of today:

“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”

  • 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions.
  • Seven in 10 millennials and Gen Xers are more likely to make purchases from brands they follow on social.
  • 82% of Gen X and millennials say the ability to glean first-person insights and recommendations from social channels has changed the way they gather opinions and information.
  • Silver surfers are real — 3% of baby boomers belong to at least one social media channel.

So how do brands act in social to reach the millennial-minded consumer?

Here are some rules of the road that we use to help us on the journey:

  • Act like a person, not a product. Brands should have a personality in social, and all content should come to life through that personality and sense of humanity. Corporate speak should be limited for a brand to succeed in engaging its community.
  • It’s called social for a reason. People talk to brands in social, so brands should talk back to them (in a timely manner).
  • Rich, relevant content that people can share and participate in results in the greatest engagement, which is exactly what you want. Engagement is the best KPI — it’s the relationship builder.
  • Content is king, but context is queen. Leverage each platform for what it does best.
  • Have a balanced approach. No one wants to sit next to a dinner guest who only talks about themselves and doesn’t ask you any question. Don’t let your brand be that guest.
  • Reward consumers for engaging, often with product, a shout-out, a like or a #regram (with permission, of course).
  • Leverage third-party partners, such as other brands that align with your brand values and personality but don’t compete, or influencers who align with your brand.
  • Social media is nimble and so should your brand be — it is easy to see what is working and what isn’t in social in real time, so be prepared to zag if you need to.
  • Leverage listening: Tools can help brands understand what their followers are passionate about and what they’re interested in. Understanding followers is crucial to creating meaningful conversations and content to continue to grow your social media footprint. Listening also helps brands hear how people are talking about their brand in the larger social ecosystem.

In summary

We are moving through this world more and more as one large millennial-minded generation, especially in social media. We are scrolling through social feeds, liking friends’ videos, following brands we admire/aspire to be like, researching and seeking opinions, finding new recipes and makeup brands, and discovering all the time. Brands play a big role in how we are living our lives and reflect who we, so go out there and live your best brand life.

Garry Raim

Partner, Executive Vice President

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