Time to Get Innovative – Time to Get Social
We all know people who choose not to spend time on social media because they just don’t see the point. Companies, too, may view social media as irrelevant to marketing their brand. However, naysayers should take a closer look at why social media present so much more than just a thumbs up.
According to the American Press Institute, “Fully 88 percent of millennials get news from Facebook regularly, and more than half of them do so daily.” Why, you ask, does it matter where millennials get their current events updates? Well, this cohort (18-34 year olds) happens to be the nation’s single largest population segment, so it has an enormous influence on the way brands seek to influence their consumers. Companies are missing a golden opportunity if they are not reaching out as effectively as possible to America’s 75 million millennial consumers – whose annual spending, by the way, amounts to a tidy $170 billion.
Because millennials use social media not only for news but also to keep up with what’s trending, companies should find it an effective tool to reach these big spenders. In fact, a recent study by Media Insight Project indicates that more and more, millennials are moving away from broadcast and print media and are instead getting their information from Facebook and Twitter. According to survey data from NuVoodoo, as reported in AdWeek, YouTube ranks even higher – much higher – than Twitter with millennials, and Instagram is running neck-and-neck with Twitter, rounding out this cohort’s four favorite social media sites.
In “Social Media Playbook for Business: Reaching Your Online Community with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and More,” writer Tom Funk says that social media offer companies the opportunity to strengthen their relationship with customers. He also observes that social media interaction can lead to higher sales and approval of their products. Social media also offer brands the opportunity to share content and experiences that millennials find worth talking about. Doubters, isn’t it time to take advantage of this?
Here are some insights as to why the doubters should take a different approach to social media:
According to a recent study on Viralheat.com, 70 percent of marketers acquire significant numbers of new customers on Facebook alone. This finding correlates with the observed phenomenon that millennial consumers tend to remain loyal to brands they follow on social media. By connecting to this large group of consumers through its favorite social media platforms, brands can create and strengthen lasting relationships that will ensure loyalty and ongoing sales.
Innovating leads to sharing
While traditional forms of marketing remain important for a brand, a study conducted by Moosylvania shows that millennials now tend to steer clear of traditional advertising. The study indicates that brands that appeal to millennials (e.g., NIKE, Apple, Target) not only maintain a strong presence on social media, they are also not afraid to take a marketing approach that is “out of the box” in a way that millennials are apt to remember and appreciate. This generation is also motivated by content that is easily accessible and shareable. This relates to the fact that millennials like to be the first to know about, well, everything. Moreover, the interactivity of social media give millennials the feeling that companies are hearing their voice. That matters to this generation. Thus, brands that want to reach millennials certainly need to pay attention to social media.
Bare it all
Social platforms not only enable brands to create a more transparent personality, they also allow companies to reach out to their community and foster a strong, healthy relationship with consumers.
As an example, Amy’s Kitchen recently had a recall. Thanks to social media, however, the company was able to quickly respond to consumer questions. By positioning the brand as responsive, this transparency strengthened the company’s relationship with consumers.
Social media offer brands the opportunity to reach millennials in innovative ways, which is exactly what they want. So, skeptics, it’s time to get social.