Attracting Millennials through social media

Attracting Millennials through social media

How do you manage to keep up with all the social media platforms that keep popping up like mushrooms? There has never been so much expected of business brands as today.

SMEs have a lot on their plate and sometimes it can be hard to get everything done in a day without having to worry about constantly communicating through a never ending stream of social media.

Gone are the days of having the odd mailout and a sign in the window. Nowadays companies need to have their brand represented in social media, requiring constant content and curation and conversation, not to mention custom strategies for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

SEE ALSO: Survival of the (digitally) fittest

We asked former ad-man and now social media thought leader Vaughn Davis to give some insights and practical advice for SMEs.

Vaughn left a big job at an agency to set up his own creative shop, The Goat Farm, because he was so excited about the promise of social media. He is the host of Sunday Social on RadioLive and involved in the TEDx Social Media Club. His work ranges from helping SMEs right through to providing strategy for multinationals.

We asked Vaughn how to talk to the generation that have grown up with social media and so expect constant access to brands across these platforms. Millennials, as this generation is known, are those born since 1980 and who have never known a world without the internet.


What attracts Millennials to brand today?

Millennials have largely grown up in a post-broadcast world… the younger you are, the more likely you are to get your media from digital or non-linear sources. This means that the traditional brand-customer authority gradient is flattened out as peer networks become far more influential than traditional media. So for Millennials, this means the brands worth caring about are the ones their friends believe in, and that’s going to be increasingly based on what they make and do, rather than just what they say.


How do brands stay relevant for Millennials for the long term – if that is possible today?

Long term brand loyalty is absolutely possible, but it requires a shift from talking to doing… understanding the customer, meeting a need, innovating and delighting… anything that treats people as participants rather than consumers and adapts to meet their needs is a good bet.

SEE ALSO: Survival of the (digitally) fittest


How does a brand go in and out of fashion?

A brand comes into fashion when people you trust tell you that what it makes or does is worth trying, and then it delivers on that.


Are there different things today that make a brand fashionable?

Brands in 2014, refreshingly, are living and dying more on the fundamentals than they were in the advertising-driven 20th century. This is especially true for a post-broadcast audience like Millennials.


How does social media fit in all this?

Social media allows great brands to be found, and talk to customers as equals. Broadcast thinking put brands on a ladder with the customers down below; conversation thinking puts them on the same couch.


What are two things a SME should think about for helping grow their brand with Millennials on social media?

Listen to your customers, then when you’ve done that, listen to your customers some more.

5 tips for SMEs and social

  • Get listed on local business platforms. It's free to list on Google Business Places, and if you do this you can be found and reviewed easily on Google.

  • Work out what social media platforms suit your business. You might like to look at the example of a few companies that do this well. Not every business needs to be in every space all the time. For example, people don't expect their plumber to be on Instagram posting shots of broken drains, but they would expect to be able to Google for a local plumber and find a listing on an online review site like Google Business.

  • Work out what kind of things it is natural for your business to talk about on your social media platform and do that. It doesn't just have to be about you. For example, The Lucky Taco – a food truck often based in Ponsonby – use their Facebook page to share images of all kinds of meals they have enjoyed at other cafes and restaurants and also recipes they whip up at home. It’s their enthusiasm for food that is the constant.

  • Ask a Millennial. If ever in doubt ask someone who is about 20. They are not shy about telling you if what you are doing is a good idea!

SEE ALSO: Survival of the (digitally) fittest

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