If you consider millennials to be a large part of your customer base, it’s important to think about the best ways you can reach out to them through social media. This group will now be aged anywhere between 13 and 40, depending on your own definition of a Millennial. If you are thinking about starting your own online business, it’s important to consider how you will best reach your desired audiences from the word ‘go’ to ensure a flying start to your new and exciting venture. This article will look at the latest trends of social media and how you can use it in a variety of ways in order to target this specific group and make the best eCommerce website possible.
This group currently makes up around 25% of the world’s population and approximately 1.8 billion people worldwide are considered Millennials. Therefore, Millennial shoppers are responsible for a large proportion of total retail sales, with one report suggesting they spend £47,760,000 each year, a figure that is expected to rise to £111,440,000 by 2020. Importantly, they are the first truly, unapologetically digital generation. This means that they are more likely to interact with online eCommerce platforms and social media than their predecessors.
According to a report by PwC, Millennials are even online whilst in shopping centres, meaning there is never a time where they are not connected to the online world. The opportunities for digital retailers to flourish in this market are plentiful; if an email offering a discount, free delivery or a special offer makes potential customers less likely to spend their capital elsewhere.
eCommerce platforms should utilise this vantage point, and email offers just before prime times for shoppers, such as a Saturday morning. Conveying these messages will be even more effective if portrayed on social media, due to the increased use of platforms amongst this group.
Just as the eCommerce industry adapts to the advertising do’s and don’ts of each platform, the user base seems to shift, requiring a possible rethink when it comes to strategies and targets. The ever-evolving nature of the internet means that new trends on how audiences engage with digital is constantly changing. That said, the use of social networks is likely to remain stable, as companies add new features accordingly to keep in trend with online interaction elsewhere.
According to an array of social media surveys, the amount of time Millennials spend on Facebook is unlikely to change anytime soon. This prediction means that audiences are likely to continue to see the same social networks adverts and style of branded content for the companies they engage with. From a marketing perspective, this is great for consistency and could lead to better brand awareness and recall. People are likely to continue to engage with Facebook, due to their innovative and bang-on-trend features which modernise the platform, making it appealing for Millennials.
Instagram looks to be heading in the same direction of Facebook, with 36.5% of Millennial users increasing their time spent on the photo-sharing platform. This similar pattern is somewhat unsurprising, given that Facebook also owns Instagram. The platform has also added new features recently, including live video and Instagram Direct, that contributes to keeping audiences engaged. Technological developments in cameras and basic photo editing tools could be behind the increased usage from the point of view of Millennials, meaning that quality images are a likely way to reach this group.
Time spent on Twitter is likely to stay the same in the upcoming year, with the younger portion of Millennials being most likely to increase their amount of time spent ‘tweeting’.
Snapchat usage increased most of the four social networks, with on average 45.5% of Millennial respondents saying they had increased their time spent on the app. That said, the platform was also second for the lowest percentage of people planning to spend more time on the app this year, perhaps due to the lack of significant advances in recent times. The latest additions such as filters, edits and group chats seem to be minimal, suggesting Snapchat has already peaked and reached its full potential.
Marketing To Millennials
The best way to predict the future is to look at the past. In this sense, eCommerce websites should look at the new features being added to various platforms and who they will benefit the most. You can then listen to conversations online about said feature to gauge whether it has worked well with your target audience. If so, you may want to consider investing more time and money into that individual platform in order to maximise your reach amongst your desired demographics.
It may come as no surprise that Millennials are not particularly enthusiastic about digital ads. Despite thousands of pounds being invested into web advertisements, a large proportion of this group will skip the advert as soon as they can or operate an ad blocker software to prevent them from seeing it all together. Social media advertisement surveys show a different picture, with the large majority of platforms reporting a positive increase in the amount of engagement with paid posts on their sites. In this sense, adverts on social media seem to do better than others, due to how they are cleverly disguised into timelines, along with other posts from friends, family and pages of interest.
The best way to market to Millennials is to implement the classic ‘sell without selling’ technique. In content marketing, give something back to your target group by proving genuine interest in educating, guiding or helping them with relevant topics, like a how-to guide (note the title of this article!). For both social networks and advertisers to continue a mutually beneficial relationship in regard to attracting millennials, they need to offer valuable content in the form of news and features on a modern platform that is on trend in terms of the features available to users.