Image source: MarketingCharts
Brands vying for attention of Millennial generation understand they need to engage in social media marketing
If someone or something gets some mention on a public platform, they can be found on Internet. The reasoning is that whatever is of any consequence should be shared on social media. As Mashable CEO, Pete Cashmore, said, “Privacy is dead, and social media hold the smoking gun.”
At the same time, the essential difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing, is the dynamism and excitement and the aura of “newness” that the ever-changing internet is capable of creating. As software billionaire, Scott Cook says, “A brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is – it is what customers tell each other it is.”
When Millennials search for information, they don’t just research, they check and confirm the information with their network of friends and like-minded individuals on social media platforms.
Focused on shared experiences and honest discussions about the pros and cons of products and services, Millennials contemplate and voice their contemplation and their reasoning on social media. As startup entrepreneur David Alston, said, “Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.” And relationships are built on trust because they are all looking for the best deals. They are all interested in interacting with other consumers to discuss the qualities of the product before making a purchasing decision. Lindsay Drucker Mann at Goldman Sachs Research says that Millennials are willing to wait for the right deal to appear.
From the perspective of demand in the market, Millennials are a force to reckon with, comprising 25% of the population. They also spend $200 billion annually on products and services. Market research studies are therefore interested and intrigued about how Millennials are convinced to buy. A recent survey by the Illinois-based McCarthy Group, found that 47% of Millennials say that the Internet is the one thing they cannot live without. They also use social media to find out for themselves how brands promote themselves, and also who promotes and recommends the brands.
With traditional marketing failing to make an impact on potential customers, there has been an almost seamless transition to digital marketing, whetting the appetite of youth obsessed with the internet. According to Forbes, a survey done by social media tech firm Council and Lithium found 80% of respondents “tried new things based on friends’ suggestions”.
And so, marketing boils down to being all about what the customer wants to achieve. They do not get lured by the “spray and pray” strategy that brands engaged in with earlier generations. Brands that once advertised products in print or electronic media by engaging in a monologue, have realized that the only way to get millennial attention, is through social media marketing.
Therefore, it is no longer the product itself that is the focus, but the conversation on what that product means to people, and numbers speak for themselves. Teens spend up to nine hours a day on social platforms, and 30% of all time spent online is devoted to social media interaction. Furthermore, 60% of their social media time is facilitated by a mobile device. Therefore, smart marketers have realized that it makes sense to make an impact digitally, because that is where the merits of products and services are discussed, analysed, recommended or criticized.
According to a new analysis, the likes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have contributed to young people’s debt, as they are lured to buying things they otherwise would not spend money on. According to the new study by Allianz Life, 57% of millennials confess that they bought things because of what they saw on social media.
Yet, generally, Millennials are artful in taking advantage of the extent of connection, to get the best quality at the best price. They will visit brick-and-mortar stores and search online for the best deals, adding discounts and coupons with free shipping to make it worth their while.
And so, in this age of technology, where Internet and mobile phones are the most powerful connectors, there could be no platform more influential than social media. As American author of Socialnomics, Erik Qualman, said, “We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is, how well we DO it.” Social media expert, Lori Ruff says, “Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.”